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Cristiano Ronaldo

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Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo 2018.jpg
Ronaldo with Portugal at the 2018 World Cup
Personal information
Full name Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro[1]
Date of birth (1985-02-05) 5 February 1985 (age 37)[1]
Place of birth Funchal, Madeira, Portugal[1]
Height 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)[note 1]
Position(s) Forward
Youth career
1992–1995 Andorinha
1995–1997 Nacional
1997–2002 Sporting CP
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2003 Sporting CP B 2 (0)
2002–2003 Sporting CP 25 (3)
2003–2009 Manchester United 196 (84)
2009–2018 Real Madrid 292 (311)
2018–2021 Juventus 98 (81)
2021–2022 Manchester United 40 (19)
National team
2001 Portugal U15 9 (7)
2001–2002 Portugal U17 7 (5)
2003 Portugal U20 5 (1)
2002–2003 Portugal U21 10 (3)
2004 Portugal U23 3 (2)
2003– Portugal 192 (118)

Cristiano Ronaldo signature
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 17:40, 22 November 2022 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 17:57, 24 November 2022 (UTC)

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro GOIH ComM (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɾiʃˈtjɐnu ʁɔˈnaɫdu]; born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains the Portugal national team. He is currently a free agent. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo has won five Ballon d'Or awards[note 3] and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player. He has won 32 trophies in his career, including seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and the UEFA European Championship. Ronaldo holds the records for most appearances (183), goals (140), and assists (42) in the Champions League, goals in the European Championship (14), international goals (118), and international appearances by a European (192). He is one of the few players to have made over 1,100 professional career appearances, and has scored over 800 official senior career goals for club and country. He is the only male player to score in five World Cup tournaments.

Ronaldo began his senior career with

most expensive association football transfer when he signed for Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million (£80 million), where he won 15 trophies, including two La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey, and four Champions Leagues, and became the club's all-time top goalscorer. He won back-to-back Ballons d'Or in 2013 and 2014, and again in 2016 and 2017, and was runner-up three times behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival. In 2018, he signed for Juventus in a transfer worth an initial €100 million (£88 million), the most expensive transfer for an Italian club and for a player over 30 years old. He won two Serie A titles, two Supercoppa Italiana trophies and a Coppa Italia
, before returning to Manchester United in 2021. He left in 2022.

Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in 2003 at the age of 18 and has since earned over 190 caps, making him Portugal's most-capped player. With more than 100 goals at international level, he is also the nation's all-time top goalscorer. Ronaldo has played in and scored at 11 major tournaments; he scored his first international goal at Euro 2004, where he helped Portugal reach the final. He assumed captaincy of the national team in July 2008. In 2015, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation. The following year, he led Portugal to their first major tournament title at Euro 2016, and received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament. He also led them to victory in the inaugural UEFA Nations League in 2019, receiving the top scorer award in the finals, and later received the Golden Boot as top scorer of Euro 2020.

One of the world's most marketable and famous athletes, Ronaldo was ranked the

world's highest-paid athlete by Forbes in 2016 and 2017 and the world's most famous athlete by ESPN from 2016 to 2019. Time included him on their list of the 100 most influential people in the world
in 2014. He is the first footballer and the third sportsman to earn US$1 billion in his career.

Early life

Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro was born in the São Pedro parish of Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira, and grew up in the nearby parish of Santo António.[8][9] He is the fourth and youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Viveiros da Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener and part-time kit man.[10] His great-grandmother on his father's side, Isabel da Piedade, was from the island of São Vicente, Cape Verde.[11] He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia "Katia".[12] His mother revealed that she wanted to abort him due to poverty, his father's alcoholism, and having too many children already, but her doctor refused to perform the procedure.[13][14] Ronaldo grew up in an impoverished Catholic Christian home, sharing a room with all his siblings.[15]

As a child, Ronaldo played for

cardiac pathways into one, altering his resting heart rate.[20] He was discharged from the hospital hours after the procedure and resumed training a few days later.[21]

Club career

Sporting CP

At age 16, Ronaldo was promoted from Sporting's youth team by first-team manager László Bölöni, who was impressed with his dribbling.[22] He subsequently became the first player to play for the club's under-16, under-17 and under-18 teams, the B team and the first team, all within a single season.[17] A year later, on 29 September 2002, Ronaldo made his debut in the Primeira Liga, against Braga and on 7 October, he scored two goals against Moreirense in their 3–0 win.[23] Over the course of the 2002–03 season, his representatives suggested the player to Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier and Barcelona president Joan Laporta.[24] Manager Arsène Wenger, who was interested in signing Ronaldo, met with him at Arsenal's stadium in November to discuss a possible transfer.[25]

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was determined to acquire Ronaldo on a permanent move urgently, after Sporting defeated United 3–1 at the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in August 2003. Initially, United had planned to sign Ronaldo and loan him back to Sporting for a year.[26] Having been impressed by him, the United players urged Ferguson to sign him. After the game, Ferguson agreed to pay Sporting £12.24 million[26] for what he considered to be "one of the most exciting young players" he had ever seen.[27] A decade after his departure from the club, in April 2013, Sporting honoured Ronaldo by selecting him to become their 100,000th member.[28]

Manchester United

2003–2007: Development and breakthrough

"There have been a few players described as 'the new George Best' over the years, but this is the first time it's been a compliment to me."

—Former Manchester United player George Best hails the 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo in 2003.[29]

Ronaldo's move to Manchester United was completed on 12 August 2003, too late for the 2003 FA Community Shield but in time for their game against Bolton Wanderers on the opening day of the 2003–04 season, and made him the first Portuguese player to sign for the club.[30] His transfer fee made him, at the time, the most expensive teenager in English football history.[31] Although he requested the number 28, his number at Sporting, he received the squad number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by such United players as George Best, Eric Cantona and David Beckham.[32] Wearing the number 7 became an extra source of motivation for Ronaldo.[33] A key element in his development during his time in England proved to be Ferguson, of whom he later said: "He's been my father in sport, one of the most important and influential factors in my career."[34]

Ronaldo playing for Manchester United against Chelsea in the 2005–06 Premier League

Ronaldo made his debut as a substitute in a 4–0 home win over

red card of his career.[38] Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United's 3–0 win over Millwall in the 2004 FA Cup Final, earning his first trophy.[39] BBC pundit Alan Hansen described him as the star of the final.[40] The British press had been critical of Ronaldo during the season for his "elaborate" step-overs in trying to beat opponents,[41] but teammate Gary Neville said he was "not a show pony, but the real thing", and predicted he would become a world-class player.[42]

Ronaldo scored United's 1,000th Premier League goal on 29 October 2004, their only goal in a 4–1 loss to Middlesbrough.[43] A few weeks later, he signed a new contract with the club that extended his previous deal by two years to 2010.[44] At the start of 2005, Ronaldo played two of his best matches of the 2004–05 season, producing a goal and an assist against Aston Villa and scoring twice against rivals Arsenal.[45][46] He played the full 120 minutes of the 2005 FA Cup Final against Arsenal, which ended in a goalless draw; although Ronaldo scored his attempt in the penalty shoot-out, United lost 5–4.[47] Ronaldo won his second trophy in English football, the Football League Cup, after scoring the third goal in United's 4–0 final win over Wigan Athletic.[48]

During his third season in England, Ronaldo was involved in several incidents. He had a one-match ban imposed on him by UEFA for a "one-fingered gesture" towards Benfica fans,[49] and was sent off in the Manchester derby (a 3–1 defeat) for kicking Manchester City's former United player Andy Cole.[50] Ronaldo clashed with a teammate, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who took offence at the winger's showboating style of play.[51] Following the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in which he was involved in an incident where club teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off,[52] Ronaldo publicly asked for a transfer, lamenting the lack of support he felt he had received from the club over the incident.[53] United denied the possibility of him leaving the club.[54]

Although his World Cup altercation with Rooney resulted in Ronaldo being booed throughout the 2006–07 season,[55] it proved to be his breakout year, as he broke the 20-goal barrier for the first time and won his first Premier League title. An important factor in this success was his one-to-one training by first-team coach René Meulensteen, who taught him to make himself more unpredictable, improve his teamwork, call for the ball and capitalise on goalscoring opportunities rather than waiting for the chance to score the aesthetically pleasing goals for which he was already known.[56] He scored three consecutive braces at the end of December, against Aston Villa (a win that put United on top of the league), Wigan and Reading.[57][58][59] Ronaldo was named the Premier League Player of the Month in November and December, becoming only the third player to receive consecutive honours.[60]

2007–2008: Collective and individual success

Ronaldo playing during the 2006–07 Premier League

At the quarter-final stage of the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo scored his first goals in his 30th match in the competition,[61] scoring twice in a 7–1 win over Roma.[62] He subsequently scored four minutes into the first semi-final leg against Milan, which ended in a 3–2 win,[63] but was marked out of the second leg as United lost 3–0 at the San Siro.[64] He also helped United reach the 2007 FA Cup Final, but the final against Chelsea ended in a 1–0 defeat.[65] Ronaldo scored the only goal in the Manchester derby on 5 May (his 50th goal for the club), as United won their first league title in four years.[66] As a result of his performances, he amassed a host of personal awards for the season. He won the Professional Footballers' Association's Player's Player, Fans' Player and Young Player of the Year awards, as well as the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award,[67][68] becoming the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA honours.[69] His wages were concurrently upgraded to £120,000 a week as part of a five-year contract extension.[70] Ronaldo was named runner-up to Kaká for the 2007 Ballon d'Or,[71] and came third, behind Kaká and Lionel Messi, in the running for the 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year award.[72]

Ronaldo scored his first (and only till 2022)

Champions League top scorer, Ronaldo was named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year.[84]

Ronaldo scored a total of 42 goals in all competitions during the

2007–08 season, his most prolific campaign during his time in England. He missed three matches after headbutting a Portsmouth player at the start of the season, an experience he said taught him not to let opponents provoke him.[85] As rumours circulated of Ronaldo's interest in moving to Real Madrid, United filed a tampering complaint with governing body FIFA over Madrid's alleged pursuit of their player, but they declined to take action.[86] FIFA president Sepp Blatter asserted that the player should be allowed to leave his club, describing the situation as "modern slavery".[87] Despite Ronaldo publicly agreeing with Blatter,[88] he remained at United for another year.[89]

2008–2009: Ballon d'Or and continued success

Ronaldo in 2009 with Manchester United playing in a Premier League game against Liverpool

Ahead of the

Silver Ball in the process.[95] With his 2008 Ballon d'Or and 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year, Ronaldo became United's first Ballon d'Or winner since Best in 1968,[96] and the first Premier League player to be named the FIFA World Player of the Year.[97]

His match-winning goal in the second leg against Porto, a 40-yard strike, earned him the inaugural FIFA Puskás Award, presented by FIFA in recognition of the best goal of the year;[98] he later called it the best goal he had ever scored.[99] United advanced to the final in Rome,[100] where he made little impact in United's 2–0 defeat to Barcelona.[101] Ronaldo ended his time in England with nine trophies, as United claimed their third successive league title and a Football League Cup.[102][103] He finished the campaign with 26 goals in all competitions, 16 goals fewer than the previous season, in four more appearances.[104] His final goal for United came on 10 May 2009 with a free kick in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.[105]

Real Madrid

As his usual number 7 was unavailable, Ronaldo wore number 9 during his debut season at Madrid. After Raúl departed the club, Ronaldo was handed the number 7 shirt before the 2010–11 season

Ahead of the

world record transfer fee at the time of £80 million (€94 million).[106] His contract, which ran until 2015, was worth €11 million per year and contained a €1 billion buy-out clause.[107] At least 80,000 fans attended his presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu, surpassing the 25-year record of 75,000 fans who had welcomed Diego Maradona at Napoli.[108] Since club captain Raúl already wore the number 7 (the number Ronaldo wore at United), Ronaldo received the number 9 shirt,[109] which was presented to him by former Madrid player Alfredo Di Stéfano.[110]

2009–2013: World record transfer and La Liga title

Ronaldo made his La Liga debut against Deportivo La Coruña on 29 August, scoring a penalty in a 3–2 home win.[111] He scored in each of his first four league games, the first Madrid player to do so.[112] His first Champions League goals for the club followed with two free kicks in the first group match against Zürich.[113] His strong start to the season was interrupted when he suffered an ankle injury in October while on international duty, which kept him sidelined for seven weeks.[114][115] A week after his return, he received his first red card in Spain in a match against Almería.[116] Midway through the season, Ronaldo finished second in the 2009 Ballon d'Or and the 2009 FIFA World Player of the Year awards, behind Messi. He finished the season with 33 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in a 4–1 win against Mallorca on 5 May 2010, his first in La Liga,[117][118] and became Real Madrid's highest goalscorer that season. Although Ronaldo helped amass a club record 96 points in the league, he did not win a trophy in his first season.[119][120]

Following Raúl's departure, Ronaldo was given the number 7 shirt for Madrid before the 2010–11 season.[121] His subsequent return to his Ballon d'Or-winning form was epitomised when, for the first time in his career, he scored four goals in a single match during a 6–1 rout against Racing Santander on 23 October.[122] Ronaldo subsequently scored further hat-tricks against Athletic Bilbao, Levante, Villarreal and Málaga.[123][124][125] Despite his performances, he did not make the top three in the inaugural 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or.[126] During a historic series of four Clásicos against rivals Barcelona in April 2011, Ronaldo scored twice to equal his personal record of 42 goals in all competitions. Though he failed to score in either leg of the Champions League semi-finals as Madrid were eliminated, he equalised from the penalty spot in the return league game and scored the match-winning goal in the 103rd minute of the 2011 Copa del Rey Final, winning his first trophy in Spain.[127][128] His two goals in the last match of the season against Almería made him the first player in La Liga to score 40 goals.[129] In addition to the Pichichi Trophy, Ronaldo won the European Golden Shoe for a second time, becoming the first player to win the award in different leagues.[130]

During the following season, Ronaldo achieved a new personal best of 60 goals in all competitions.[131] He finished as runner-up to Messi for the 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or, after scoring hat-tricks against Real Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano, Málaga, Osasuna and Sevilla, the last of which put Madrid on top of the league by the season's midway point.[132][133][134] Ronaldo found greater team success in the league, helping Madrid win their first league title in four years with a record 100 points. Following a hat-trick against Levante as Madrid further increased their lead over Barcelona,[135] he scored his 100th league goal for Madrid in a 5–1 win over Real Sociedad on 24 March 2012, a milestone he reached in just 92 matches across three seasons, breaking the previous club record held by Ferenc Puskás.[136] Another hat-trick in the Madrid derby against Atlético Madrid brought his total to 40 league goals, equalling his record of the previous season.[137] His final league goal of the season, against Mallorca, took his total to 46 goals, four short of the new record set by Messi,[138] though he became the first player to score against all 19 opposition teams in a single La Liga season.[139]

Ronaldo began the 2012–13 season by lifting the 2012 Supercopa de España, his third trophy in Spain. With a goal in each leg, he helped Madrid win the Spanish Super Cup on away goals following a 4–4 aggregate draw against Barcelona.[140] Although Ronaldo publicly commented that he was unhappy with a "professional issue" within the club, prompted by his refusal to celebrate his 150th goal for Madrid,[141] his goalscoring rate did not suffer. After netting a hat-trick, including two penalties, against Deportivo, he scored his first hat-trick in the Champions League in a 4–1 win over Ajax.[142] Four days later, he became the first player to score in six successive Clásicos when he hit a brace in a 2–2 draw at Camp Nou.[143] His performances again saw Ronaldo voted second in the running for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d'Or, behind four-time winner Messi.[144]

2013–2015: Consecutive Ballon d'Or wins and La Décima

Following the 2012–13 winter break, Ronaldo captained Madrid for the first time in an official match, scoring twice to lift 10-man Madrid to a 4–3 win over Sociedad on 6 January.

El Clasico on 30 January, a match which also marked his 500th club appearance.[146] Three days prior, he had scored his 300th club goal as part of a perfect hat-trick against Getafe.[147] He scored his 200th goal for Madrid on 8 May in a 6–2 win against Málaga, reaching the landmark in 197 games.[148] He helped Madrid reach the 2013 Copa del Rey Final by scoring twice in El Clásico, which marked the sixth successive match at Camp Nou in which he had scored,[149] a club record.[140] In the final, he headed the opening goal of an eventual 2–1 extra time defeat to Atlético, but was shown a red card for violent conduct.[150] In the first knockout round of the Champions League, Ronaldo faced his former club Manchester United for the first time. After scoring the equaliser in a 1–1 draw at home,[151] he scored the winning goal in a 2–1 win on his first return to Old Trafford.[152] He did not celebrate scoring against his former club as a mark of respect.[153] After scoring three goals against Galatasaray in the quarters, he scored Madrid's only goal in the 4–1 away defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the semi-finals and Real were eliminated at the semi-final stage for the third consecutive year despite a 2–0 win in the second leg.[154]

Ronaldo scored a record 17 UEFA Champions League goals during the 2013–14 season
en route to La Décima.

At the start of the

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).[157] By late November, Ronaldo had scored 32 goals from 22 matches for both club and country, including hat-tricks against Galatasaray, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Northern Ireland, and Sweden.[158][159][160] He ended 2013 with 69 goals in 59 appearances, his highest year-end goal tally.[161] He received the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, an amalgamation of the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, for the first time in his career.[162]

Concurrently with his individual achievements, Ronaldo enjoyed his greatest team success in Spain to date, as he helped Madrid win La Décima, their tenth European Cup. His goal in a 3–0 home win over Dortmund (his 100th Champions League match) took his total for the season to 14 goals, equalling the record Messi had set two years before.

In the Copa del Rey, Ronaldo helped Madrid reach the

During the 2014–15 season, Ronaldo set a new personal best of 61 goals, starting with both goals in Madrid's 2–0 win over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup.[176] He subsequently achieved his best-ever goalscoring start to a league campaign, with 15 goals in the first eight rounds.[177] His record 23rd La Liga hat-trick, scored against Celta Vigo on 6 December, made him the fastest player to reach 200 goals in La Liga, reaching the milestone in 178th matches.[177][178] After winning the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup,[179] Ronaldo received the 2014 Ballon d'Or,[180] joining Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten as a three-time recipient.[181] Madrid finished in second place in La Liga and exited at the semi-final stage in the Champions League.[182] In the latter competition, Ronaldo extended his run of scoring away to a record 12 matches with his strike in a 2–0 win against Schalke 04.[183] He scored both of his side's goals in the semi-finals against Juventus, where Madrid were eliminated 3–2 on aggregate.[184] With 10 goals, he finished as top scorer for a third consecutive season, alongside Messi and Neymar.[185] On 5 April, he scored five goals in a game for the first time in his career, including an eight-minute hat-trick, in a 9–1 rout of Granada.[186] His 300th goal for his club followed three days later in a 2–0 win against Rayo Vallecano.[187] Subsequent hat-tricks against Sevilla, Espanyol and Getafe took his number of hat-tricks for Madrid to 31, surpassing Di Stéfano's club record of 28.[176] He finished the season with 48 goals, winning a second consecutive Pichichi and the European Golden Shoe for a record fourth time.[176]

2015–2017: All-time Madrid top scorer

At the start of his seventh season at Madrid, the

all-time top scorer in the Champions League with a hat-trick in the first group match against Shakhtar Donetsk, having finished the previous season level with Messi on 77 goals.[190] Two goals against Malmö FF in a 2–0 away win on 30 September saw him reach the milestone of 500 career goals for club and country.[191] He subsequently became the first player to score double figures in the competition's group stage, setting the record at 11 goals, including another four-goal haul against Malmö.[192]

By March 2016, Ronaldo had scored 252 goals in 228 matches in La Liga to become the competition's second-highest goalscorer

Ronaldo's four goals in a 7–1 home win over Celta de Vigo on 5 March 2016 took his total to 252 goals in La Liga, becoming the competition's second-highest scorer in history behind Messi.

Ronaldo missed Madrid's first three matches of the

In the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals against Bayern in April, Ronaldo scored both goals in a 2–1 away win which saw him make history by becoming the first player to reach 100 goals in UEFA club competition.[206] In the second leg of the quarter-finals, Ronaldo scored a 'perfect' hat-trick and reached his 100th Champions League goal, becoming the first player to do so as Madrid again defeated Bayern 4–2 after extra-time.[207] On 2 May, Ronaldo scored another hat-trick as Madrid defeated Atlético 3–0 in the Champions League semi-final first leg. On 17 May, Ronaldo overtook Jimmy Greaves as the all-time top scorer in the top five European leagues, scoring twice against Celta de Vigo.[208] He finished the season with 42 goals in all competitions as he helped Madrid to win their first La Liga title since 2012.[209] In the Champions League Final, Ronaldo scored two goals in a 4–1 victory over Juventus to take him to 12 goals for the season, making him the competition's top goalscorer for the fifth straight season (sixth overall), as well as the first player to score in three finals in the Champions League era; the second goal was the 600th of his senior career.[210] Madrid also became the first team to win back-to-back finals in the Champions League era.[211]

2017–2018: Fifth Ballon d'Or and fifth Champions League win

At the start of the 2017–18 season, Ronaldo scored Madrid's second goal in the 80th minute of a 3–1 win over Barcelona in the first leg of the 2017 Supercopa de España at Camp Nou; however, he was sent off two minutes later and missed the second leg.[212] On 23 October, his performances throughout 2017 saw him awarded The Best FIFA Men's Player award for the second consecutive year.[213] On 6 December, he became the first player to score in all six Champions League group stage matches with a curling strike at home to Dortmund.[214] A day later, Ronaldo won the 2017 Ballon d'Or, receiving his fifth-time award on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.[215] On 16 December, he scored a free kick winner, as Madrid won their second Club World Cup in a row by beating Grêmio in the final.[216] On 3 March 2018, he scored two goals in a 3–1 home win over Getafe, his first being his 300th La Liga goal in his 286th appearance, making him the fastest player to reach this landmark and only the second player to do so after Messi.[217] On 18 March, he reached his 50th career hat-trick, scoring four goals in a 6–3 win against Girona.[218]

On 3 April, Ronaldo scored the first two goals in a 3–0 away win against Juventus in the quarter-finals of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League, with his second goal being an acrobatic bicycle kick. Described as a "PlayStation goal" by Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli, with Ronaldo's foot approximately 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) off the ground, it garnered him a standing ovation from the opposing fans in the stadium as well as a plethora of plaudits from peers, pundits and coaches.[219] On 11 April, he scored in the second leg at home to Juventus, a 98th-minute injury time penalty in a 3–1 defeat, meaning Madrid advanced 4–3 on aggregate.[220] It was his tenth goal against Juventus, a Champions League record against a single club.[221] In the final on 26 May, Madrid defeated Liverpool 3–1, winning Ronaldo his fifth Champions League title, the first player to do so.[222] He finished as the top scorer of the tournament for the sixth consecutive season with 15 goals.[223] After the final, Ronaldo referred to his time with Madrid in the past tense, sparking speculation that he could leave the club.[224]


Despite months of negotiation to sign a new Real Madrid contract,

solidarity contributions to Ronaldo's youth clubs.[226] The transfer was the highest ever for a player over 30 years old,[227] and the highest paid by an Italian club.[228] Upon signing, Ronaldo cited his need for a new challenge as his rationale for departing Madrid,[229] but later attributed the transfer to the lack of support he felt was shown by club president Florentino Pérez.[230]

2018–2020: Adjustment and consecutive Serie A titles

On 18 August, Ronaldo made his debut in a 3–2 away win against Chievo Verona.[231] On 16 September, Ronaldo scored his first two goals for Juventus in his fourth appearance in a 2–1 home win over Sassuolo in Serie A; his second was the 400th league goal of his career.[232] On 19 September, in his first Champions League match for Juventus, he was sent off in the 29th minute for "violent conduct", his first red card in 154 tournament appearances.[233] Ronaldo became the first player in history to win 100 Champions League matches, setting up Mario Mandžukić's winner in a 1–0 home win over Valencia, which sealed Juventus's passage to the knock-out stages of the competition.[234] In December, he scored his tenth league goal of the season, from the penalty spot, netting the final goal in a 3–0 away win over Fiorentina.[235] After placing second in both the UEFA Men's Player of the Year and The Best FIFA Men's Player for the first time in three years, behind Luka Modrić, Ronaldo performances in 2018 also saw him voted runner-up for the 2018 Ballon d'Or, finishing once again behind his former teammate.[236] Ronaldo won his first trophy with the club on 16 January 2019, the 2018 Supercoppa Italiana, after he scored the only goal from a header against AC Milan.[237]

On 10 February, Ronaldo scored in a 3–0 win over Sassuolo, the ninth consecutive away game in which he had scored in the league, equalling

most consecutive away games with at least one goal.[238] On 12 March, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in a 3–0 home win against Atlético in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16, helping Juventus overcome a two-goal deficit to reach the quarter-finals.[239] The following month, he scored his 125th goal in the competition, opening the scoring in a 1–1 away draw in the quarter-final first leg against Ajax on 10 April.[240] In the second leg in Turin on 16 April, he scored the opening goal, but Juventus eventually lost the match 2–1 and were eliminated from the competition.[241] On 20 April, Ronaldo played in the scudetto clinching game against Fiorentina, as Juventus won their eighth successive title after a 2–1 home win, thereby becoming the first player to win league titles in England, Spain and Italy.[242] On 27 April, he scored his 600th club goal, the equaliser in a 1–1 away draw against Derby d'Italia rivals Inter Milan.[243] Ending his first Serie A campaign with 21 goals and 8 assists, Ronaldo won the inaugural Serie A award for Most Valuable Player.[244]

Ronaldo scored his first goal of the 2019–20 season in a 4–3 home league win over Napoli on 31 August 2019.[245] On 23 September, he came in 3rd place for the Best FIFA Men's Player Award.[246] On 1 October, he reached several milestones in Juventus's 3–0 Champions League group stage win over Bayer Leverkusen: he scored in a 14th consecutive season, equalling Raúl and Messi's record; he broke Iker Casillas' record for most Champions League wins of all time, and equalled Raúl's record of scoring against 33 different opponents.[247] On 6 November in a 2–1 away win against Lokomotiv Moscow, he equalled Paolo Maldini as the second-most capped player in UEFA club competitions with 174 appearances.[248] On 18 December, Ronaldo leapt to a height of 8 ft 5 in (2.57 m), higher than the crossbar, to head the winning goal in a 2–1 away win against Sampdoria.[249] He scored his first Serie A hat-trick on 6 January 2020, in a 4–0 home win against Cagliari. His 56th career hat-trick, he became only the second player after Alexis Sánchez to score hat-tricks in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A.[250] On 2 February, he scored twice from the penalty spot in a 3–0 home win over Fiorentina, equalling David Trezeguet's club record of scoring in nine consecutive league games,[251] and broke the record six days later by scoring in his tenth consecutive league game, a 2–1 away defeat to Hellas Verona.[252] On 22 February, Ronaldo scored for a record-equalling 11th consecutive league game, alongside Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella, in what was his 1,000th senior professional game, a 2–1 away win against SPAL.[253]

On 22 June, he scored a penalty in a 2–0 away win over Bologna, overtaking Rui Costa to become the highest scoring Portuguese player in Serie A history.[254] On 4 July, he scored his 25th league goal from a free kick in a 4–1 home win over rivals Torino, becoming the first Juventus player to achieve this milestone since Omar Sívori in 1961; the goal was also his first from a free kick with the club after 43 attempts.[255] On 20 July, Ronaldo scored twice in a 2–1 home win over Lazio; his first goal was his 50th in Serie A. He became the second-fastest player to reach this landmark, after Gunnar Nordahl, and the first player in history to reach 50 goals in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A. With his brace, he also reached 30 league goals for the season, becoming just the third player (after Felice Borel in 1934 and John Hansen in 1952) in Juventus's history to reach that milestone in a season.[256][257] Moreover, he became the oldest player, at the age of 35 years and 166 days, to score over 30 goals in one of the five top European leagues since Ronnie Rooke with Arsenal in 1948.[258] On 26 July, Ronaldo scored the opening goal in a 2–0 home win over Sampdoria as Juventus were crowned Serie A champions for a ninth consecutive time.[259] He finished his second league campaign with 31 goals, making him the second-highest goalscorer in the league behind only European Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile, with 36 goals.[260][261] On 7 August, Ronaldo scored a brace in a 2–1 home win against Lyon in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16, which saw him finish the season with 37 goals in all competitions; the tally allowed him to break Borel's club record of 36 goals in a single season.[262] Despite the win, the tie finished 2–2 on aggregate and Juventus were eliminated from the competition on the away goals rule.[263]

2020–2021: 100 Juve goals, Capocannoniere, and departure

On 20 September 2020, Ronaldo scored in Juventus's opening league match of the season, a 3–0 home win over Sampdoria.[264] On 1 November, having taken nearly three weeks to recover from COVID-19, he returned to action against Spezia; he came off the bench in the second half and scored within the first three minutes, before scoring a second goal from the penalty spot in an eventual 4–1 away win.[265] On 2 December, he scored a goal against Dynamo Kyiv in a Champions League group stage match, his 750th senior career goal.[266] Ronaldo played his 100th match in all competitions for Juventus on 13 December, scoring two penalties in a 3–1 away win over Genoa in the league to bring his goal tally to 79.[267] On 20 January 2021, Juventus won the 2020 Supercoppa Italiana after a 2–0 win against Napoli, with Ronaldo scoring the opening goal.[268] On 2 March, he scored a goal in a 3–0 win over Spezia in his 600th league match, to become the first player to score at least 20 goals in 12 consecutive seasons in the top five leagues of Europe.[269] On 14 March, he scored his 57th career hat-trick in a 3–1 away win over Cagliari.[270] On 12 May, Ronaldo scored a goal in a 3–1 away win over Sassuolo to reach his 100th goal for Juventus in all competitions on his 131st appearance, becoming the fastest Juventus player to achieve the feat.[271] With Juventus's victory in the 2021 Coppa Italia Final on 19 May, Ronaldo became the first player in history to win every major domestic trophy in England, Spain and Italy.[272] Ronaldo ended the season with 29 league goals, winning the Capocannoniere award for highest goalscorer and becoming the first footballer to finish as top scorer in the English, Spanish and Italian leagues.[273]

On 22 August, Ronaldo started the first game of the new season on the bench, coming on as a substitute for Álvaro Morata in a 2–2 draw against Udinese, scoring a goal that was ruled out by VAR.[274] Though manager Massimiliano Allegri confirmed it was his decision due to Ronaldo's fitness, it came amid reports Ronaldo would depart the club before the closure of the transfer window,[275] and Ronaldo would tell Allegri he had "no intention" of remaining a Juventus player.[276] On 26 August, Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes reached a verbal agreement with Manchester City over personal terms,[277] but the club pulled out of the deal the following day due to the overall cost of the transfer.[278] On the same day, it was confirmed that City's rivals Manchester United, Ronaldo's former club, were in advanced talks to sign him,[279][280] while former manager Alex Ferguson and several ex-teammates had been in contact to persuade him to re-sign for United.[281][282]

Return to Manchester United

2021–2022: 100 Premier League goals and team struggles

On 27 August 2021, Manchester United announced they had reached an agreement with Juventus to re-sign Ronaldo, subject to agreement of personal terms, visa and medical.[283] The transfer was for an initial £12.85 million, with a two-year contract plus an optional year, and was confirmed on 31 August.[284] Ronaldo was given the number 7 shirt after Edinson Cavani agreed to switch to 21.[285] The first 24 hours of Ronaldo's shirt sales was reported to have broken the all-time record following a transfer, overtaking Messi after his move to Paris Saint-Germain.[286]

On 11 September, Ronaldo made his second debut at Old Trafford, scoring the opening two goals in a 4–1 league victory against Newcastle United.[287] On 29 September, he scored a last-minute winner in United's 2–1 victory at home to Villarreal in the Champions League, and overtook Iker Casillas as the player with the most appearances in the competition.[288] In the next Champions League fixture on 20 October, Ronaldo again scored a last minute winner, helping United overturn a two-goal deficit in a 3–2 home victory against Atalanta,[289] and scored both goals, including a last minute equalizer, in the reverse fixture against Atalanta on 2 November.[290] On 23 November, Ronaldo became the first player to score in five consecutive matches of a Champions League campaign for an English club, after opening United's 2–0 victory away against Villarreal, with his six goals being crucial to United's qualifying for the round of 16 as group winners.[291] On 2 December, Ronaldo netted two goals in a 3–2 home league win against Arsenal, which saw him surpass 800 career goals.[292]

The following month, after enduring a fractured relationship with his teammates and interim manager Ralf Rangnick, his performances and his team's declined during the season, with Ronaldo equalling his worst goalscoring run since 2010 during his time with Real Madrid, being two months without scoring a goal,[293] before scoring his first goal in the new year, opening United's 2–0 win home against Brighton & Hove Albion on 15 February 2022.[294] Following a hamstring injury, which saw him miss the Manchester derby against Manchester City, Ronaldo made his return from injury on 12 March, scoring a hat-trick in a 3–2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur, which saw him pass Josef Bican's record for goals scored in professional football with 807 career goals,[295] although the Football Association of the Czech Republic claimed that Bican had scored 821 career goals.[296] On 16 April, Ronaldo scored his 50th club hat-trick in a 3–2 win over Norwich City.[297] On 23 April, he scored his 100th Premier League goal in a 3–1 defeat to Arsenal.[298] After scoring in the following matches against Chelsea and Brentford, he was named the Premier League Player of the Month for April.[299]

He finished the season with 24 goals in all competitions, 18 of those goals being in the Premier League, making him the third-highest goalscorer in the league behind Golden Boot winners Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min, being named in the Premier League Team of the Year and the winner of United's Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award, given to the club's best player from the previous season;[300][301] however, with United finishing in a disappointing sixth place and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League, Ronaldo went trophyless for the first time since 2010.[302]

2022: Final season and departure

After growing dissatisfaction with the direction of United on and off the field, Ronaldo missed the club's pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia due to family reasons, amid reports of his desire to leave to join a club competing in the Champions League, despite incoming manager Erik ten Hag insisting that he was not for sale and was part of the club's plans.[303] His agent Jorge Mendes began negotiating with various clubs for a transfer on loan or on a free transfer, including Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, with the latter club's new owner Todd Boehly being keen on a possible transfer.[304] However, due to his age, overall cost of a transfer and high wages demands, multiple European clubs rejected the opportunity to sign him, including Chelsea after their manager Thomas Tuchel did not approve his signing.[305]

Ronaldo in a Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion
in August 2022

Having failed to secure a transfer, Ronaldo lost his place in the starting lineup to Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, only featuring in Europa League matches. He scored his first goal in the competition aged 37, converting a penalty to make it 2–0 against Sheriff Tiraspol on 15 September.[306] On 2 October, Ronaldo was an unused substitute in United's 6–3 loss to Manchester City, with Ten Hag saying that he refused to bring him on out of "respect for his big career".[307] On 9 October, Ronaldo came on as a substitute and scored his 700th career club goal in a 2–1 win against Everton.[308] Ten days later, Ronaldo refused to be brought on as a substitute during a home game against Tottenham and left the ground before the full-time whistle;[309][310] Ten Hag punished him by dropping him from the squad for an upcoming fixture with Chelsea, and made him train separately from the first team.[311][312] Following discussions with the manager, Ronaldo returned to training and started in United's home win over Sheriff on 27 October, scoring the third goal and ensuring United's qualification to the Europa League knockout stage.[313] Ten Hag named Ronaldo as captain for a 3–1 defeat to Aston Villa on 6 November, saying that Ronaldo was "an important part of the squad, we are happy with him and now he has to take even more of the leader role".[314] Ronaldo then missed United's following matches before the World Cup break, with Ten Hag saying that Ronaldo was ill.[315]

On 14 November, an interview with Piers Morgan was published, where Ronaldo said that he felt "betrayed" by ten Hag and senior executives who wanted Ronaldo to leave the club, and accused the club of doubting him regarding the illness of his daughter that led him to miss pre-season, adding that he did not respect ten Hag "because he doesn't show respect for me", leading him to be disappointed with the communication of the club.[316] Ronaldo claimed that ten Hag deliberately provoked him by first leaving him on the bench against City, and then wanting to bring him on in the final moments against Tottenham, but added that he regretted his decision to leave early.[316] He also questioned the appointment of Rangnick the previous season as he was a "sporting director and not even a coach".[316][317] On the club itself, Ronaldo stated there was "no evolution" since the departure of former manager Alex Ferguson in 2013, despite expecting changes in "technology, infrastructure".[316][317] Ronaldo claimed that the Glazer family "did not care about the club" as he never spoke with them, and described United as a "marketing club".[316][317] Following the interview, which aired in two-parts on 16 and 17 November, United began seeking legal action over whether Ronaldo had breached his contract,[318] and were looking to terminate his contract.[319] On 22 November, Ronaldo's contract was terminated by mutual agreement with immediate effect.[320]

International career

2001–2007: Youth level and senior debut

Ronaldo began his international career with Portugal under-15 in 2001. During his international youth career, Ronaldo would represent the under-15, under-17, under-20, under-21 and under-23 national sides, amassing 34 youth caps and scoring 18 goals overall.[6]

Aged 18, Ronaldo made his first senior appearance for Portugal in a 1–0 win over Kazakhstan on 20 August 2003,[321] coming on as a half-time substitute for Luís Figo.[322] He was subsequently called up for UEFA Euro 2004, held in his home country, and scored his first international goal in a 2–1 group stage loss to eventual champions Greece, his eighth appearance for Portugal.[322] After converting his penalty in a shoot-out against England in the quarter-finals,[323] he helped Portugal reach the final by scoring the opening goal in a 2–1 win over the Netherlands.[324] He was featured in the team of the tournament, having provided two assists in addition to his two goals.[325]

Ronaldo was Portugal's second-highest scorer in their

Euro 2008, scoring two goals in the process.[333][334]

2007–2012: Assuming the captaincy

Euro 2012
, was made captain for Portugal in 2008.

One day after his 22nd birthday, Ronaldo

qualification,[338] the second-highest tally, he scored just one goal in the tournament, netting the second goal of their 3–1 win in the group stage match against the Czech Republic; in the same game, he also set-up Portugal's third goal in injury time, which was scored by Quaresma, and was named man of the match for his performance.[339][340] Portugal were eliminated in the quarter-finals with a 3–2 loss against eventual finalists Germany.[341]

After Portugal's unsuccessful performance at Euro 2008,

2010 World Cup,[322] as Portugal narrowly avoided a premature elimination from the tournament with a play-off victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.[344] In the group stage of the World Cup, he was named man of the match in all three matches, against Ivory Coast, North Korea and Brazil.[345][346][347] His only goal of the tournament came in their 7–0 rout of North Korea, which marked his first international goal in 16 months.[348] Portugal's World Cup ended with a 1–0 loss against eventual champions Spain in the round of 16.[349]

Ronaldo scored seven goals in the

Euro 2012, including two strikes against Bosnia and Herzegovina in the play-offs, to send Portugal into the tournament, where they were drawn in a "group of death".[350] In the last group stage game against the Netherlands, Ronaldo scored twice to secure a 2–1 win.[351] He scored a header in the quarter-final against the Czech Republic to give his team a 1–0 win.[352] In both games against the Netherlands and the Czech Republic he was named man of the match.[353][354] After the semi-finals against Spain ended scoreless, Portugal were eliminated in the penalty shoot-out.[355] Ronaldo did not take a penalty as he had been slated to take the unused fifth slot.[356] Ronaldo's own teammate, Nani, said that Ronaldo "demanded" to take the last penalty.[357] As the joint top scorer with three goals, alongside five other players, he was again included in the team of the tournament.[7]
: p. 10, section 3.08 

2012–2016: All-time Portugal top scorer and European champion

Ronaldo evading Luka Modrić during a friendly match against Croatia
in 2013

During the

2014 World Cup, Ronaldo scored a total of eight goals. A qualifying match on 17 October 2012, a 1–1 draw against Northern Ireland, earned him his 100th cap.[358] His first international hat-trick also came against Northern Ireland, when he scored three times in a 15-minute spell of a 4–2 qualifying win on 6 September 2013.[359] After Portugal failed to qualify during the regular campaign, Ronaldo scored all four of the team's goals in the play-offs against Sweden, billed as a battle between Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimović, which ensured their place at the tournament.[360] His hat-trick in the second leg took his international tally to 47 goals, equaling Pauleta's record.[361] Ronaldo subsequently scored twice in a 5–1 friendly win over Cameroon on 5 March 2014 to become his country's all-time top scorer.[362]

Ronaldo took part in the tournament despite suffering from patellar tendinitis and a related thigh injury,[363] potentially risking his career.[364] Ronaldo later commented: "If we had two or three Cristiano Ronaldos in the team I would feel more comfortable. But we don't."[365] Despite ongoing doubts over his fitness, being forced to abort practice twice,[366] Ronaldo played the full 90 minutes of the opening match against Germany, although he was unable to prevent a 4–0 defeat.[367] After assisting an injury-time 2–2 equaliser against the United States,[368] he scored a late match-winning goal in a 2–1 win over Ghana.[369] His 50th international goal made him the first Portuguese to play and score in three World Cups.[370] Portugal were eliminated from the tournament at the close of the group stage on goal difference.[369]

Euro 2016 quarter-final match against Poland

Ronaldo scored five goals, including a hat-trick against

record 17 appearances in the tournament.[374][375] Although placed third in their group behind Hungary and Iceland, his team qualified for the knockout round as a result of the competition's newly expanded format,[376] despite not winning any of their games.[322]

In Portugal's first knockout match, Ronaldo's only attempt on goal was parried by

Eder scored in the 109th minute to earn Portugal a 1–0 victory.[379] As team captain, Ronaldo lifted the trophy in celebration of his country's first triumph in a major tournament. He was awarded the Silver Boot as the joint second-highest goalscorer, with three goals and three assists, and was named to the team of the tournament for the third time in his career.[380][381]

2016–2018: Post-European Championship victory and World Cup

Following the Euro 2016 success, Ronaldo played his first professional match on his home island of Madeira on 28 March 2017 at age 32, opening a 2–3 friendly defeat to Sweden at the

Estádio dos Barreiros. With the goal, he tied with Miroslav Klose on 71 goals as the third-highest scoring European in international football.[382]

In Portugal's opening match of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup against Mexico on 17 June, Ronaldo set up Quaresma's opening goal in a 2–2 draw.[383] Three days later, he scored in a 1–0 win over hosts Russia.[384] On 24 June, he scored from a penalty in a 4–0 win over New Zealand, which saw Portugal top their group and advance to the semi-finals of the competition; with his 75th international goal, Ronaldo also equalled Sándor Kocsis as the second-highest European international goalscorer of all-time, behind only Ferenc Puskás.[385][386] He was named man of the match in all three of Portugal's group stage matches.[387] Ronaldo left the competition early; after Chile defeated Portugal 3–0 on penalties in the semi-finals, he was allowed to return home to be with his newborn children,[388] and missed Portugal's third-place play-off match in which Portugal defeated Mexico 2–1 after extra time.[389]

2018 World Cup