The 7 greatest moments of Ronaldo's career (Part 1)
To celebrate the release of chapter 4 of Cristiano Ronaldo's signature football boots by Nike, we're taking this opportunity to look back at the 7 greatest moment's of his career - 7 great moments from the world's greatest number 7.
7. That free kick against Portsmouth
Arguably the greatest free kick ever scored in Premier League history, this was the moment Ronaldo really brought the "knuckleball" to the world's attention. By hitting a free kick on the valve of the ball & using the right technique, Ronaldo perfected a method of shooting that gave the ball an incredibly unpredictable flight.
The vastly underrated Juninho of Lyon had been doing this for several years previously, but this was one of the first times it had been done in such a high profile match.
Since Ronaldo scored this goal it has inspired many other players to replicate the knuckleball-style free kick. The most famous of these would probably be Ronaldo's now-teammate at Real Madrid, Gareth Bale.
6. His first Ballon D'or win in 2008
During the 2007/08 Premier League season with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo went absolutely goal crazy. He finished the season with 42 goals in all competitions (31 league goals) & averaged a goal every 88 minutes. What's even more astonishing is that Ronaldo was only 22 (he turned 23 during the season) & played primarily on the wing at this point in his career.
In addition to this, Ronaldo also won the Premier League with United & then defeated Chelsea in the Champion's League Final to claim a famous double! Ronaldo was rightly rewarded for his astonishing season with his very first Ballon D'or, naming him the greatest player in the world.
5. His "greatest goal" v Porto
In 2009 Manchester United went to Porto with an uphill task after a disappointing first leg Champion's League result of 2-2 at Old Trafford. United desperately needed a win in Portugal!
Only 6 minutes into the match, Ronaldo scored one of the finest long range strikes you're ever likely to see to put United on their way to a 1-0 victory.
At the time Ronaldo called this goal "the best of his career" & what makes it so impressive is just how nonchalant he is as he goes to strike it. How do you score a 40 yarder & still make it look as though you weren't even trying? Ask Ronaldo.
4. Becoming Portugal captain
At just 23 years old Cristiano Ronaldo was given the honour of being named team captain for his national side. Ronaldo had actually captained Portugal in 2007, but 2008 saw him given the role on a permanent basis.
An immensely patriotic Portuguese, Ronaldo helped his side win their Euro 2008 group, before defeating the Czech Republic & Switzerland on their way to the quarter finals.
They went out in a brave performance 3-2 against a strong Germany side who would make it to the final. Ronaldo remains Portugal captain to this day.