Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably (very, very arguably) the greatest footballer of all time. This debate will continue to rage on well after his retirement, with some vehemently defending the legends’ status as the greatest of all time, while others may claim Lionel Messi or another legend like him to be the best to ever play the game.
Either way, whether you’re a die-hard football fan, a CR7-only fan, a debating fan, or even a sports betting fan, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: we have never seen a footballer like Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Formation of Greatness
While many may recognise the ever-popular and skilful Ronaldo in the classic white of Real Madrid where he spent nine incredible years, there can be no mistaking that it was in the red of Manchester United that his prowess and ultimate greatness were formed.
His six years with the Red Devils turned him from an unknown Portuguese youngster to an international football phenomenon. These were the years in which he perfected his craft and was propelled onto the global football stage as something special.
A Fountain of Talent
As talent like this so usually is, Cristiano was headhunted by one of the mightiest footballing organisations in the history of the game in Real Madrid, where he would go on to cement his status as one of the greats of the beautiful game.
After an illustrious career in Spain, he then spent a couple of seasons with Italian giants Juventus, before making the move back to his beloved Old Trafford, where his stardom had begun all those years ago.
For this reason, our sheer joy at having CR7 back home, we’ve decided to compile a list of his 5 best goals in the colours of United!
Left-Footed Magic VS Everton (2007)
An early sign of the class of the young Ronaldo. As soon as he cut inside onto his left foot you knew he was going to take it on, even though he was outside of the box. This absolute stunner of a strike looked like the number 7 had the ball on a string attached to his left foot.
He knew exactly where he wanted to place it, and he did just that. Tim Howard didn’t stand a chance!
A Free-Kick to End Them All VS Portsmouth (2008)
This incredible showcase of raw skill is one of the greatest free-kicks you’ll ever see. A high arcing shot that stayed dead straight and dipped just in time to nestle in the top corner. All that poor David James could do was shrug!
Long Range Power VS Tottenham Hotspur (2022)
In 20 years of pure Ronaldo dominance, teams have still not learnt to close him down and not allow him space and time on the ball.
Spurs were no exception as once again Cristiano found himself with a bit of room to get himself set and unleash a classic, powerful strike from range. This would be the first of a hat trick on the day for the United legend, which makes this entry even sweeter.
Bullet Header VS Roma (2008)
If you had to go back and watch this goal today, you might spend the first few seconds wondering where Ronaldo is.
When Paul Scholes lobs the ball into the box, Ronaldo is nowhere to be seen. He’s still on his way into the box from way out and it seems highly unlikely that he’ll be able to get anything on the cross.
However, as this is not just a man but a walking highlight reel we’re talking about, CR7 literally flies into the box and produces one of the most ferocious headers you’re ever likely to witness!
40 Yard Wonder Goal VS Porto (2009)
Rewind 13 years before Ronaldo’s strike from distance against Spurs, and he was already punishing teams for allowing him too much room to roam with the ball.
This time, however, you could probably forgive the Porto defence as it’s not too common for a player to decide to shoot for goal from about 40 yards out. This is precisely what Cristiano Ronaldo does, however, and the Portuguese outfit would ultimately be made to pay for their lackadaisical defence of their fellow countryman.
This would be a crucial goal for United in the end, as it would seal the fate of their opponent, and see them through to yet another Champions League semi-final, their second in as many years.
We all know that the mastery and skill of Cristiano Ronaldo far exceed these 5 goals, and while it’s virtually impossible to capture his entire impact on the beautiful game and beyond in one article, we didn’t want to leave without mentioning a few more of Ronnie’s incredible feats in front of goal while donning the red of Manchester.
Who could forget the classic defence-to-attack move against Arsenal in the 2009 Champions League semi-final? Started by Ronaldo in his own half and finished by Ronaldo in the opposite box, we’re treated to an incredible display of CR7’s speed and athleticism as he outruns everyone up the entire pitch to finish Arsenal off.
And what about the winger’s outstanding, and frankly scary, jump against Chelsea to head home the opening goal of the 2008 Champions League final?
It’s worth mentioning the game at Craven Cottage that established CR7 as a player capable of winning the title for his club? A vintage dribbling masterpiece down the left wing and a cut inside which led to a superb bottom corner strike helped United see off Fulham, and take one more step towards the Premier League title.
Is He The Greatest?
And there you have it! That wraps up our trip down greatest of all time, sorry, memory lane. Whether Cristiano Ronaldo will go down as the greatest footballer of all time or not, we’ll probably never know.
What we do know is the facts, which, in part, are presented to you above. Now, the choice is yours.