Top 5 moments of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career…so far
Few footballers achieve enough in their career to warrant a personal museum, much less have one open while they are still at the peak of their powers.
However, Cristiano Ronaldo – scorer of 350 goals in just 542 professional games, winner of three Premier League titles, two League Cups and one La Liga, Copa del Rey, Supercopa, Club World Cup and Champions League trophy – is certainly one of them.
And as the 28-year-old opens the doors to the Museu CR7 in his hometown of Funchal, the Ladbrokes News team takes a look at his career highlights to date.
First Premier League title with Manchester United
Ronaldo joined United as champions but saw the Red Devil’s endure a barren three-year spell after moving to Old Trafford. While Arsenal and Chelsea took advantage of the United re-building phase Ronaldo quietly grew is stature and finally announced himself on the world stage with 17 goals from midfield in 2006-07 when United finally wrestled the title back from the capital.
He went on to win a further two titles at Old Trafford and while the 2007-08 season, in which he notched 31 league goals is arguably his best, that first title will live long in the memory.
Ballon D’Or 2008
Winning a first title with United gave Ronaldo a taste of success that he was determined to hold on to and this spurred him onto another level. His 31 goals in 34 league games ensured back-to-back titles for United for the first time 2001 and another eight in 11 European appearances – including a well-taken header in the final – saw the Champions League trophy head back to Old Trafford after a nine-year wait.
While footballers will often state that team honours rank higher than individual accolades the fact that the Ballon D’or trophy, which was handed to Ronaldo after this stellar campaign, takes centre stage at the Meseu CR7 shows just how proud the Portuguese winger was to receive it.
Signing for Real Madrid
Ronaldo has referred to Sir Alex Ferguson as a father figure on many occasions and remains popular among the United faithful.
However, when Spanish giants Real Madrid came calling he could not hide his excitement and desire to fulfil his boyhood fantasy.
Transfer fees are rarely acknowledged by footballers when they get the move of their dreams but privately Ronaldo will be immensely proud that the £80m Real paid for his services made him the most expensive footballer in history.
First La Liga title
Signing for Real Madrid may have realised a lifelong ambition for Ronaldo but joining at a time when rivals Barcelona would win three consecutive league titles would have tarnished the dream somewhat.
However, that the attacker would have to work hard and improve on what was already an outstanding career only made Real’s success in 2011-12 that much sweeter.
Breaking records on an almost weekly basis by that point, Ronaldo smashed a stunning 46 league goals in a 38-game campaign to end the Catalan’s dominance and finally lift the La Liga trophy in the white of Los Blancos.
Hat-trick vs Sweden (World Cup Qualifying play-off)
Internationally – like George Weah, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ryan Giggs before him – Ronaldo has seen his chances of success limited by those around him. The Real man’s Portugal plight may not be as extreme as that of the others on the list but few of his Portugal moments warrant inclusion on this show-reel.
However, his 108th and most recent appearance for his country saw him score a hat-trick which ensured Portugal’s inclusion at Brazil 2014 and put him on a par with Pauleta as the country’s leading scorer – a record he will surely break on the biggest of stages next summer.