04.01.2021 » Ronaldo wins Player of the Century award
Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the most successful football players of all time. The 35-year old striker has played for some of the world's biggest clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus. In recognition of his achievements, the Portuguese legend was awarded the title of the "Player of the Century" at the Globe Soccer Awards that were held in Dubai in late December 2020. Pep Guardiola, who managed Barcelona while Cristiano Ronaldo was at Real Madrid, was named "Coach of the Century" at the same ceremony, while Jorge Mendes won the "Agent of the Century" award.
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The Globe Soccer Awards
The award was based on performance between 2001 and 2020 and is the first time it has been handed out. The Globe Soccer Awards were founded in 2010 and are held annually. Ronaldo attended the ceremony, which took place at the Armani Hotel (inside the Burj Khalifa) on 27th December, alongside his long-term girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez. The Spaniard sported a sparkly red dress that matched Ronaldo's tie and the pair spent some time posing for photographs on the red carpet ahead of the event.
Others attending the ceremony included the former Liverpool star, Ian Rush, as well as Spanish and Polish players Gerard Pique and Robert Lewandowski. Also on the guest list was Amir Khan, the former middleweight and welterweight boxing champion who attended with his wife Faryal Makhdoom.
While accepting his award, Ronaldo said that being at the top of your game for so many years is incredibly difficult, thanking the teams, coaches, and clubs that have helped him to achieve it.
After the ceremony, he took to Twitter to share a photo of himself with the award and to say: "Couldn't be happier with tonight’s award! As I'm about to celebrate my 20th year as a professional footballer, Globe Soccer Player Of The Century is a recognition that I receive with so much joy and pride!".
Football fans around the world enjoy comparing Ronaldo to his longtime rival Lionel Messi. The two players were the stars of La Liga during Ronaldo's time at Real Madrid, both with similar stats each season, for example, during the 2017/18 season, Ronaldo netted 44 goals, while Messi managed one more. However, Ronaldo did it in 44 appearances, while Messi in 54.
Following the announcement, some Messi fans took to Twitter to exclaim their confusion, listing stats from the last decade that show the Argentinian being more successful in terms of goals, assists, chances created, free-kick goals, Golden Boots, Ballon d'Ors, and FIFA Player of the Year awards. Though, Ronaldo fans were quick to come to his defence.
Titles across Europe
One of the things that make Ronaldo stand out is the fact that he has played a significant role in winning domestic league titles for his clubs in Italy, England, and Spain. As well as helping the Portuguese national team to victory in the Euro 2016.
It's these achievements, particularly at these three clubs, that made him deserving of this award.
Ronaldo at Manchester United
Ronaldo joined Manchester United ahead of the 2003-04 season, where he was given the number 7 shirt. This meant he would be following in the footsteps of other big names, including David Beckham and Eric Cantona. He scored a handful of goals that season, making a solid start to his tenure with the team.
Ronaldo joined United while they were at the top of their game, they'd won the majority of Premier League titles since the competition's formation, and appeared unstoppable under Sir Alex Ferguson. Back then, United were always the favourites going into a game, though football betting predictions don't always show them so positively today. Ronaldo played a key role in maintaining United's success during this period, particularly after big names like David Beckham, Andy Cole, and Jaap Stam had recently departed.
While at United, he helped the club to three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one UEFA Champions League title, and one FIFA Club World Cup. During this time, he was also awarded a number of personal awards, including the Premier League Golden Boot, European Golden Shoe, FIFA World Player of the Year, and the Professional Footballers' Association’s Footballer of the Year awards.
His final season with United was in 2008-09, during which time the striker helped the club to the Premier League title and the Football League Cup.
Ronaldo at Real Madrid
After leaving Manchester United, Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid. While there, he became Real Madrid's top goalscorer of all time, netting 450 goals during his time with the club. He also set league records, scoring the most goals in a single La Liga season after managing 48 during the 2014-15 season. He became the first player to score at least one goal against each team in La Liga during the 2011-12 season.
During his time playing for the Spanish side, he scored 311 goals from 292 league appearances, averaging a goal every 84 minutes.
Real Madrid won La Liga twice during Ronaldo's time with the club, the first in 2011-12 and the second in 2016-17. They also picked up two Copa del Rey trophies, two Supercopa de España titles, four FIFA Club World Cups, and four UEFA Champions League titles.
It was during his stint at Real Madrid that Ronaldo was included in the Time list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014 and named by Forbes as the world's highest-paid athlete in both 2016 and 2017.
Ronaldo at Juventus
After leaving Real Madrid in 2018, he signed with Juventus. This four-year contract cost the club a €100 million transfer fee, setting a new record for the highest ever amount paid for a player over the age of 30. Rather than it being about the money, Ronaldo stated he needed a new challenge and that moving to Juventus would provide that.
He hit the ground running, scoring goals in his fourth appearance. Shortly afterward, he became the first player to ever win 100 Champions League games. By the end of 2018, he'd become the first player at the club to score 10 goals in his first 14 games since 1957. At the end of the year, he was awarded the Serie A Most Valuable Player award.
During his first two seasons, Ronaldo has won back-to-back Serie A titles, breaking several other records in the process.
Things haven't gone as smoothly in the 2020-21 season so far though, having sat out for several weeks due to illness. There's still plenty of time for him and the club to turn it around and win a third consecutive league title.
With all this success, it's easy to see why Ronaldo is regarded as the player of the century. His achievements in different clubs, in different leagues, and different countries have shown that he is one of the most versatile players ever to have taken to a field.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Juventus in the Serie A is on January 6, against AC Milan. You can watch AC Milan vs Juventus, Saint-Etienne vs PSG, Athetic Club vs Barcelona, Manchester United vs Manchester City, Tottenham vs Brentford, and Sampdoria vs Inter, all matches provided from our live soccer game pages.
Juventus next game:
AC Milan vs Juventus kick-off time (06-01-2021):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:45
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+6: 01:45
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+4.30: 00:15
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 11:45