Born on 5th February 1985 on the small Portuguese island of Madeira – Cristiano Ronaldo is among the finest footballers to have graced the beautiful game. Power, poise, dedication and determination took him from poverty to the riches of Real Madrid. As he closes his chapter with Los Blancos, we look at the highlights of his stint at the Santiago Bernabeu.
For years before his 2009 move to Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo spoke of his dream to the line-up for Los Merengues. After a lot of tussling and bickering over the price, Manchester United released their crown jewel for what was, at that time, a world-record breaking transfer fee. The dream had only just begun for CR7!
Making his debut against Deportivo La Coruna, CR7 was CR9 for his first season as Raul of Real Madrid occupied the number 7 shirt. On his debut on 29th August 2009, Ronaldo converted a penalty to open his account for Los Blancos. He would go on to score in each of his first four games, the first ever player to achieve the feat in Madrid’s colours.
Cristiano Ronaldo may have shattered records all the time at Real Madrid, but had to wait until the end of the 2010-11 season to claim his first trophy with Los Blancos – triumphing over arch-rivals FC Barcelona in the finals of the Copa Del Ray. Little did we all know back then that CR7 was just getting started.
Cristiano Ronaldo had to wait until 2011-12 to secure his first La Liga crown with Real Madrid. Used to winning, the Portuguese star led Los Blancos from the front in stunning fashion.
Cristiano Ronaldo is often compared to Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona. However, the Portuguese has a much better goals to game ratio than the Argentine superstar. At Los Blancos, he surpassed Alfredo Di Stefano to become the all-time leading goal scorer at the Santiago Bernabeu.
In 2017-18, Cristiano Ronaldo led from the front as Real Madrid picked up a third consecutive UEFA Champions League title. In the semi-final against Juventus, he scored a stunning overhead kick in Turin that earned him a standing ovation. This moment would reverberate with the Portuguese as the World Cup came around
This week, Cristiano Ronaldo issued a statement on the official website of Real Madrid CF – announcing an end to his 9-year spell at Los Blancos. CR7 leaves Madrid as among the best players to ever wear the iconic All-White jersey and one who will continue to be cheered by fans of Juventus for years to come.