January 28, 2023
If we look back at Cristiano Ronaldo's career so far, it's easy to understand his best years took place when he played for Manchester United and Real Madrid. Back then, Ronaldo was almost unstoppable...
Cristiano Ronaldo's blockbuster interview with Piers Morgan and subsequent bitter divorce from Manchester United was a saga that none of us saw coming. Admittedly, we all knew he was unhappy at Old Trafford, especially with new manager Erik Ten Hag preferring Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial over CR7. Portugal's greatest-ever player wasn't made to sit on a bench. But now, European football has lost its finest-ever player, perhaps forever.
Knowing that we may never see the great man lighting up the UEFA Champions League - or even the Europa League - ever again, is a sad thought. No player has lifted the famous Big Eared trophy more times than Sporting Lisbon's finest export, but those famous European nights under the lights appear to now be over. Knowing that OddsChecker, which compares football odds and free bets, has made his former club Real Madrid one of the favourites for the trophy this season must leave him feeling bitter.
At least Ronaldo has been compensated handsomely for his troubles, signing a bumper $400m two-year deal with Al Nassr of Saudi Arabia. Just as the likes of Andrés Iniesta, Xavi, Wayne Rooney, Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo have done in recent years, Cristiano Ronaldo has earned the right to a megamoney paycheque in an unheralded league. But with CR7 moving onto pastures new, we thought it's only right to take a look back at his previous clubs, specifically the ones he performed best at.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Prime years:
Without a doubt, Cristiano Ronaldo's greatest moments came in that famous white shirt in the Spanish capital. Following his €100m move from Manchester United in the summer of 2009, the Portuguese icon would go on to become the greatest player in the history of Real Madrid. In the process, he became the club's leading goalscorer of all time, racking up an incredible 450 goals in 438 appearances.
During his time at the Bernabéu, Ronaldo won four Champions League - three of which came back-to-back-to-back - two La Ligas and two Copa Del Rey's, as well as a plethora of Super Cups and Club World Cups. He also won four Balon d'Or's during his time in Spain, and his nine years with the club will never be forgotten.
During Ronaldo's initial spell at Manchester United, Ronaldo developed from a trembling teenage prodigy into the greatest player on the planet. His talent was evident, even in his first cameo appearance from the bench against Bolton Wanderers almost 20 years ago. His arrival at the club rejuvenated the Red Devils, taking them from trophyless to the best team in Europe in just five years.
During his time in the North West of England, Ronaldo racked up 113 goals in 259 appearances. He led United to the FA and League Cup, before embarking on an incredible run between 2006-2009, where the club would lift three consecutive Premier League titles.
His time in Manchester would culminate with the UEFA Champions League victory in 2008. Ronaldo netted during the final against Chelsea in Moscow, only for Frank Lampard to equalise, eventually sending the tie to extra time and penalties. As we all remember, Petr Čech would save Ronaldo's attempt in the shootout, only for Edwin Van Der Sar to bail him out, saving Nicolas Anelka's shot and giving the club their finest hour. Ronaldo's performances that season would earn him his first of five Balon d'Ors.
Ronaldo's recent exit from Manchester United obviously leaves a stain on his legacy with the club. But let's not forget, he was the top scorer at Old Trafford in his only full season back, at the age of 37 no less. He netted an astonishing 24 times in 37 domestic and European appearances throughout the 2021/22 campaign, often winning points on his own at times. Those performances will go down in folklore, as should his entire trophy-laden time in Manchester.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League is on February 3, against Al Fateh. You can watch Al Fateh vs Al Nassr, Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, Lazio vs Milan, Southampton vs Newcastle Utd, Manchester City vs Arsenal, and Bayern Munich vs Koln, all matches provided from our live soccer streaming game pages.
Al-Nassr next game:
Al-Fateh vs Al Nassr kick-off time (03-02-2023):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 23:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 20:30
Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) | UTC/GMT+3: 18:00
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 16:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 16:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 15:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 12:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 10:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 07:00
Sources: ronaldo7.net / metro.co.uk / si.com