08.03.2022 » Cristiano Ronaldo's greatest Champions League piledriver moments
While he will forever be known by his "CR7" moniker, there is a reason why he is also quite often referred to as "Mr. Champions League". It was a title that was first handed to Dutch legend Clarence Seedorf due to his winning exploits with three clubs – Ajax, Real Madrid and Milan. Besides, even FC Barcelona have dubbed Lionel Messi with the tag. However, it goes without saying that Cristiano Ronaldo's legacy as the greatest player in the greatest club competition in the world is unparalleled. Since the moment he bagged his first goal in the Champions League – back in 2007 against Roma – he has gone on to deliver 140 times in 182 appearances in the continental tournament – a mile ahead of eternal nemesis Lionel Messi. It is a feat that world-class players only dream to achieve and what’s even more impressive is that the Portuguese marksman has managed to rescue his teams on multiple occasions from hopeless situations in the most critical of moments. Keeping that in mind, here are few of Ronaldo's greatest Champions League piledriver moments throughout his career
Cristiano Ronaldo - The perfect attacker:
Real Madrid 3-0 Wolfsburg
2015/16 UCL Quarter-final 2nd leg
(Estadio Santiago Bernabeu)
A hapless first leg display in Germany put Los Blancos two-down on aggregate going into the second leg. And it was a prime Ronaldo who showed once again why he's considered a legend of the game. There was no stopping the Portuguese this time, as he took the game by the scruff of its neck with a brilliant hattrick, his fifth in the club competition. Madrid's miraculous night began with Ronaldo wiping off the two-goal deficit in the space of 90 seconds with an opportunistic first-quarter brace. However, the best was yet to come. He made it three for the evening by taking advantage of a poorly constructed wall and belted in a thunderous free kick through the gap to send the record winners into the last-four. The perfect definition of "cometh the hour, cometh the man".
Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid
2018/19 UCL Round of 16 2nd leg
When they say hard times create strong men, Ronaldo's sublime second-leg hattrick against his second favorite rivals ranks very high in the memories of his supporters. Diego Simeone's men thrashed Juventus by a two-goal margin at the Wanda Metropolitano, thereby pushing Ronaldo to recollect his exploits against Wolfsburg three years ago. The Portuguese ace tirelessly began his case, first by towering over Atletico's defense to net in the opener in 27th minute, before doing the same just after half-time. Having leveled scores on aggregate, the game was supposed to head in to extra-time, but Juventus ended up winning a penalty. The legendary penalty taker made no mistake from the spot, blasting one past Jan Oblak to take the Bianconeri into the quarter-finals.
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United
2008/09 UCL Semi-final 2nd leg
Although the Red Devils' hopes of becoming the first team to retain the Champions League title was put to bed by one of the best teams in football history in that season's final, they managed to oust Arsene Wenger's side with a great virtuoso display in the semi-final second leg. And much of it was to the credit of Cristiano, who belted a brace, the first of which was an otherworldly and seemingly impossible 40-yard stunning free kick that caught Arsenal shotstopper Manuel Almunia in his wake. While his first was absolutely venomous, his second was a moment of pure open-play perfection. He secured his brace by finishing a deft counterattack after murderously sprinting the length of the pitch – an iconic goal in its own right. "You could feel he was special, unstoppable," said Spanish midfielder Fabregas after the match.
Juventus 0-3 Real Madrid
2017/18 UCL Quarter-final 1st leg
Little did Ronaldo know that he would be dumping his future employers out with unrivalled charisma over two legs, before going on to win his record fifth Champions League title. Although it was his controversial 98th minute winner in the second leg that put Real Madrid through to the semi-final, his first leg performance was one of sheer class. He drew first blood in the tie just after three minutes with a great poacher's finish from Isco's cross, before making the fully packed home crowd stand on their feet and applaud his genius – a warm display of affection that largely prompted him to move to Turin. The Portuguese sensation placed himself in exemplary fashion to meet Dani Carvajal's cross with unmatched perfection, as he bagged in a bicycle kick into the bottom right corner to leave the legendary Gianluigi Buffon spectating Ronaldo's raw genius.
Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern Munich
2016/17 UCL Quarter-final 2nd leg
(Estadio Santiago Bernabeu)
Having already netted a brace in the first leg at Allianz Arena, Ronaldo did one better in the return leg, as he netted a controversial but impressive hattrick and led Madrid to their seventh straight semi-final. He brought out the best in himself, carrying his team through an uncertain match with the pedigree of a true leader. CR7 first struck from a header in the final-quarter hour, compensating for Robert Lewandowski's opener, thus taking the game into extra-time. He then executed two more finishes in the final minutes of the added period to complete a perfect hattrick. Ronaldo once again proved his mettle against a German team, nailing Bayern Munich's title hopes shut this time.
Wagering on a team that has Ronaldo in it almost never fails to bring in returns, but the Manchester United outfit he is part of now do not look like winners among the European elite. According to statistics provided by the best football betting sites, the Red Devils are way behind Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Bayern Munich to secure their first title since 2008. While bookmakers favor the big guns, the ones in the background should never be cast out. The resource mentioned above teaches one how to maneuver the lesser-known aspects of betting and gambling, at the same time also serving as a platform to explore a variety of sports, other than football - from horse racing and cricket to Formula 1 and tennis. First time players can also benefit from bonuses and rewards such as loyalty points, free bets, cashbacks and accumulator schemes.
The aforementioned performances by the Portuguese footballing great are only a handful of all the displays that he has pulled off. Nevertheless, they are the cream of the crop that has propelled him to reach the legendary status he currently possesses. However, it looks like he will have to wait out on a potential sixth Champions League title, if it ever does arrive – a feat that would level his accomplishments with Real Madrid legend Francisco Gento.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United is on March 12, against Tottenham. You can watch Manchester United vs Tottenham, Real Madrid vs PSG, Barcelona vs Galatasaray, Tottenham vs Everton, Liverpool vs Inter, and Bayern Munich vs RB Salzburg, all matches provided from our live football game pages.
Manchester United next game:
Manchester United vs Tottenham kick-off time (12-03-2022):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 03:00
Jakarta (Indonesia) | UTC/GMT+7: 02:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:30
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 16:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 12:00
Sources: ronaldo7.net / ronaldo.com / 90min.com