There is always a constant debate about who is the best player in the world. The argument is always between Cristiano and Messi, but some also like to include the likes of Neymar or Mbappe. However, in spite of whoever the best is, there is no question that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players in the history of the game.
His individual and collective achievements speak for themselves as he looks to add to his already amazing collection of awards with Juventus. Cristiano has had many iconic moments throughout his career, but we want to focus on his achievements throughout the past couple of seasons.
Most of the awards on our list are individual, but there some collective accomplishments also included. Sit back and enjoy Cristiano Ronaldo’s 25 most successful achievements since 2015.
25. UEFA Nations League champions
This may not be Cristiano’s most unique trophy, but he and his Portuguese teammates were determined to win the 2018/2019 UEFA Nations League, which was the tournaments inaugural season. Portugal qualified for the Nations League Finals, which is a knockout tournament consisting of the group winners of League A. If they needed any additional motiviation, the finals would be played in Portugal
After beating Switzerland in the semifinals, they took on the Netherlands in the final. It would be a close game, but Portugal would go on to win 1-0 and Cristiano would add another trophy to his already incredible list of achievements.
24. Serie A titles
Although Juventus have won consecutive Serie A titles since 2011, the 2018/2019 edition was Cristiano’s first league truimph with the Italian club. As is no surprise, Ronaldo was instrumental in leading Juve to the title with several clutch moments in big games. He finished the season with a total of 21 goals and was named Serie A player of the season.
This title would also make Cristiano one of the select few players who have won a league title in three different countries. He won three Premier League titles while playing for Manchester United and two in La Liga with Real Madrid. He also helped Juventus to retain the title in the 2019/2020 season.
23. UEFA Nations League semifinal performance
After finishing top of their group, Portugal qualifed for the Nations League Finals where they would take on Switzerland in the semifinal game. With the finals being played in Portugal, they were fully determined to win the inaugural tournament.
Although Portugal were playing in their backyard, Switzerland were determined to get to the final and do what they could to win. However, Cristiano made sure that would not happen and went on to score a hat-trick as Portugal won 3-1 to advance to the final where they would take on the Netherlands, who beat England in their semifinal match.
22. Spanish Supercup goal vs Barcelona
Real Madrid began the 2017/2018 season taking on Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup, with the first leg being played in Camp Nou. Even though it is a summer competition, both teams wanted to start the campaign on a high by winning the first trophy of the season and beating their historic arch rivals. Ronaldo would start the game on the bench as he had just returned from his vacation the previous week.
However, with the score tied at 1-1, Cristiano would come on in the second half and completely change the game. After a quick counter attack, Cristiano found himself on the edge of the box and would score a brilliant top corner goal to give Madrid a 1-2 lead and would celebrate by showing jersey to the opposing fans. Although he would be red carded later in the game, Real Madrid went on to win 1-3 and would eventually go on to claim the Spanish Supercup.
21. Individual goal vs Espanyol
Another spectacular goal in Cristiano career came during the 2015/2016 season in a league game against Espanyol. Real Madrid would win that game by a score of 6-0 and Ronaldo would get three goals, but all the talk after the game was about his incredible first goals.
After a deflected pass found Cristiano with space to run, he would take out one defender and then split two of them before blasting the ball with his left foot into the back of the net, giving the keeper no chance. A goal that is sometimes overlooked, but is arguably one Ronaldo’s greatest individual goals in his career.
20. La Liga hat-trick vs Atlético de Madrid
An encounter between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid is always enticing. However, the first round matchup in the 2016/2017 season was extra important as it was the final La Liga game played at Atlético’s Vicente Calderón Stadium and they were looking to close it out in the best way possible by beating their arch city rivals.
Despite the hype and expectations, Cristiano would quickly quiet the Atlético fans by scoring the first goal of the game and would go on to get a hat-trick. Real Madrid thrashed Atlético 0-3 as they continued their quest to win La Liga.
19. La Liga title 2016/2017
In the 2016/2017 season, Real Madrid were on a mission to win La Liga, a title they had not won since 2012. This would be an interesting campaign for Cristiano as he would miss the first month due to the injury he suffered in the Euro 2016 final against France and then his minutes were significantly throughout the season due to Zidane’s rotation policy.
Although Ronaldo would not be named the top La Liga scorer, it would be one of his best seasons with Madrid and he constantly appeared in big moments. Some of his best performances included a hat-trick against Atlético de Madrid in the Calderón Stadium, some late goals against Las Palmas to get an important point, and two vital goals against Sevilla. Ronaldo would score a total of 25 goals and Madrid would win the league on the final day against Málaga.
18. Euro 2016 goals vs Hungary
Cristiano had several important performances at Euro 2016, which included the final group stage game against Hungary. After drawing their previous group games to Iceland and Austria, Portugal needed to get a positive result if they wanted to the advance to the next round.
Throughout the match, Portugal trailed Hungary and never led at any point during the game. It was an incredible game that saw several goals. Despite their struggles, Portugal fought back and were able to get a 3-3 draw; enough to see them through to the knockout stages. Cristiano scored two vital goals, which included a brilliant backheel.
17. Performance vs PSG in CL
In the 2017/2018 season, Real Madrid took on PSG in the round of 16 of the Champions League. Even though Madrid were the two time defending champions, they were struggling in the league and taking on an ambitious PSG side that had just signed Neymar and Mbappe the previous summer for record amounts.
The first leg in Madrid saw PSG take the lead, but Madrid would equalize just before halftime and eventually won 3-1 with two goals by Cristiano. With the return leg back in Paris, PSG fans made the stadium a hostel environment, but Madrid were not fazed and would go on to win the game 1-2 as Ronaldo scored the opening goal that put the game out of reach for PSG.
16. Comeback vs Wolfsburg in CL
In the 2015/2016 Champions League, Real Madrid took on Wolfsburg in the quarterfinals. On paper, it was seen an easy matchup for Madrid, but Wolfsburg would make things interesting by winning the first leg 2-0 and putting Madrid in jeopardy of being eliminated.
Despite the second leg being played in Madrid, it was seen as unlikely that Real Madrid could overturn the result and go through. However, Cristiano would quickly score two goals in early minutes of the first half to tie the aggregate. Then in the second half, Ronaldo scored the game winning goal from a free kick to win the game 3-0 and help Madrid through to the semifinals.
15. 2018 World Cup goals vs Spain
In the 2018 World Cup, Portugal began the tournament taking on Spain, who would be their biggest challenger in the group stage. Many experts believed this game would decide the group winner and it would be considered one of the best game in the World Cup, with Ronaldo as a key protagonists.
The first half went perfectly for Portugal as they led at halftime 2-1 with both goals scored by Cristiano. Although Spain turned the result around in the second half and led 2-3 draw, Portugal would get an opportunity to tie the game just before added time as they were awarded a dangerous free kick. With all the pressure on him, Cristiano stepped up and scored a brilliant goal to tie the game at 3-3 and take a point.
14. Penalty vs Juventus
Despite defeating Juventus in Turin 0-3 in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, Real Madrid found themselves in trouble in the second leg after the Italian side equalized the aggregate score. Just when it looked liked the game would go into extra time, a penalty was called in favor of Madrid with the opportunity to advance to semifinals.
After minutes of madness, which saw Juve goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, be sent off for his intense protests, Cristiano stepped up and took a perfectly taken penalty to win the tie on aggregate and advance Real Madrid to the next round.
13. Euro 2016 semifinal performance vs Wales
Another brilliant Euro 2016 performance by Cristiano came in the semifinal matchup against Wales, who were the revelation of the tournament and had just eliminated Belgium in the quarterfinals. The game was tight in the first half with both teams being defensively strong.
However, the game would light up in the second half as a dangerous cross found the head of Cristiano, who powerfully headed the ball into the goal to give Portugal the lead. A few of minutes later, Nani extented Portugal’s lead as they went on to win and advanced to the final where they would take on the host country France.
12. Game winning penalty vs Atlético de Madrid
In the 2015/2016 Champions League final, Real Madrid took on city rivals Atlético de Madrid. It would be a repeat of the 2013/2014 final, which saw Madrid come out victorious. After Sergio Ramos opened the scoring, Yannick Carrasco would tie it in the second half and take the game into extra time, where it would remain scoreless and go into a penalty shootout.
Both sides were making their penalties until Atlético de Madrid defender, Juanfrán, missed to give Real Madrid an opportunity to win the title. As was expected, the decisive penalty was taken by Cristiano, who calmly scored it to win the Champions League title.
11. Champions League performance vs Atlético de Madrid
After eliminating Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the 2016/2017 Champions League, Real Madrid would take on city rivals Atlético de Madrid in the semifinals. Atlético were looking to get back to the final and also wanted revenge as they had lost the previous season to Madrid.
However, Cristiano made sure that did not happen and would go on to score a hat-trick in the first leg to lead Madrid to a 3-0 victory. In the second leg, Atlético made the tie close, but it would not be enough and Real Madrid advanced to the Champions League final as they looked to defend their title against Juventus.
10. Goal vs Sampdoria
Cristiano has scored many incredible throughout his career, but his NBA-style goal he scored against Sampdoria left even the opposing manager with his jaw dropped. A goal which was similar to the one he scored in the Champions League knockout stages against Manchester United while playing for Real Madrid in the game 2012/2013 season.
What is remarkable is not just the height of his jump, which was a remarkable 8 feet and 5 inches, but also how long he hung in the air. His hang time was 1.5 seconds as he jumped over the Sampdoria defender and headed the ball into far corner of the net.
9. Real Madrid all time leading goal scorer
Cristiano is not just Real Madrid’s all time leading goal scorer, he did it in record fashion. The previous record was held by Raúl González, who played 741 games for the club and would go on to score a total of 325 career goals by the time he left after the 2009/2010 season.
However, after Cristiano arrived in the summer of 2009, he began to score goals at rapid pace that no player had ever done before and would go to break Raúl’s record by the end of 2015. When Ronaldo left the club in the summer of 2018, he played a total of 438 games and would go on to score 450 career goals. Another player could potentially break his record, but it will not be done at rate Cristiano did.
8. Champions League performance vs Bayern Munich
In the 2016/2017 season, Real Madrid had an enticing Champions League quarterfinal matchup against their historic European rival Bayern Munich. Before the game, Bayern were considered the favorites, but it was still seen as a close encounter that could go in any direction. This tie would see one of Cristiano’s best performances.
In the first leg, despite losing 1-0 at halftime, Ronaldo scored two goals in the second half to help Madrid win 1-2 in Munich. The return leg saw an epic game as Bayern tied the aggregate score and took it into extra time, but Ronaldo would go on to get a hat-trick to lead Madrid into the semifinals.
7. Bicycle kick goal vs Juventus
In the 2017/2018 season, Real Madrid took on Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals, with the first leg being played in Turin. Both sides met in the final the previous season where Madrid thrashed the Italians and would win their second consecutive Champions League title. Like in the final, Madrid would once again dominate Juventus as they would beat them 0-3 in Turin, with Cristiano scoring two goals.
However, Ronaldo’s second goal is what everyone remembers when this game is mention as he would score an incredible bicycle kick that went into the side corner of the goal. A goal that could be the greatest he has scored in his career.
6. Comeback vs Atlético de Madrid
After Juventus lost the first leg to Atlético de Madrid 2-0, many thought the tie was over. Atlético may not be the most glamours team, but they are always a strong defensive unit that is hard to break down, which made the idea of Juventus scoring three goals extremely unlikely. Not to mention Juve had to also make sure Atlético did not score any goals in the return leg.
However, back in Turin for the second leg, Cristiano had other ideas and would lead Juventus to an historic comeback. He scored all of Juve’s goals, with the game winner coming from the penalty spot as they beat Atlético 3-0 to advance to the quarterfinals.
5. All time Champions League goal scorer
Although Cristiano continues to play, he is already the Champions League all time top goal scorer and with good distance from the player in second position, which just so happens to be Leo Messi. That being said, Ronaldo and Messi are the only players to score more than 100 goals in the Champions League.
An incredible achievement, especially taking into consideration Ronaldo began his Champions League career in 2003 and did not score his first goal until 2007. A record he will for sure continue to add as he looks to bring the Champions League title back to Juventus.
4. Euro 2016 title
As Euro 2016 was beginning, Portugal was not even considered as one of the favorites to win the competition. Even less when they failed to win any of their group games and only went through as one of the best third place teams.
However, their form improved greatly in knockout stages and would make it all the way to final where they would take on the host country France. Although Cristiano would leave the game early due to an injury, his clutch performances were fundamental in helping Portugal reach the final where they would upset France to win their first European championship.
3. Champions League final performance vs Juventus
The 2016/2017 Champions League final between Juventus and Real Madrid is arguably Cristiano Ronaldo’s greatest individual performance of his career. Although Madrid were defending champions, Juve had thrashed Barcelona in the quarterfinals that season and were seen as Madrid’s toughest opponent in a European final.
In spite of the concerns, the game proved to be too much for Juventus and Real Madrid would go on to demolish the Italian side by a score of 4-1 with Ronaldo scoring two goals. After the game, Cristiano would be named the Man of the Match.
2. Three consecutive Ballon d’Or awards
Along with his collective achievements, Cristiano would add individual awards to his trophy cabinet. Ronaldo won three consecutive Ballon d’Or awards between 2016 and 2018, which were the same seasons Real Madrid won their Champions League titles.
In addition to the Ballon d’Or, he would also win three consecutive FIFA’s The Best awards during that same period and was named the UEFA Men's Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017. Awards that are all well deserved taking into consideration his performances that led his club and country to great success.
1. Champions League titles with Real Madrid
He won numerous trophies while playing for Real Madrid, but his most successful period with the club came between 2016 and 2018 when they made history by becoming the first team to win three consecutive Champions League titles.
As is no surprise, Cristiano played an instrumental part in winning those titles as he would be named the competition’s top goal scorer during the three Champions League wins, as well as coming up with clutch performances throughout the tournament. Performances that would lead him to winning the UEFA Men's Player of the Year awards in 2016 and 2017.
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