How will Ronaldo be remembered at Real Madrid? – UEFA Champions League – News
After nine garlanded years, Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid for Juventus. So how will the No7 will be remembered in the Spanish capital?
After a plethora of goals, four UEFA Champions League crowns – including three in a row, completed in Kyiv in May – and almost too many records to know where to start, Real Madrid announced on Tuesday that Cristiano Ronaldo is leaving the club for Turin.
Ronaldo arrived at the Bernabéu from Manchester United in summer 2009 as a fleet-footed winger; he leaves as the ultimate goal-getter. Madrid’s all-time top scorer with a remarkable 451 goals in just 438 appearances – the last of came in that UEFA Champions League final defeat of Liverpool in the Ukrainian capital – he leaves an incredible legacy in the Spanish capital.
‘Happiest years of my life’
“These years at Real Madrid, and in the city of Madrid, have possibly been the happiest of my life,” Ronaldo wrote in an open letter to Madrid fans.
“I can only give enormous thanks to this club, these fans and this city. The time has come to start a new chapter in my life and for this I’ve asked the club to let me go.
“They’ve been nine absolutely marvellous, unique years. Real Madrid has conquered my heart and that of my family’s, too. For this, more than ever, I want to say thank you.”
Ronaldo’s time at Madrid in numbers*
Major honours: 16
UEFA Champions Leagues: 4 (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018)
UEFA Champions League goals: 105
UEFA Best Player in Europe Awards: 3 (2014, 2016, 2017)
UEFA Team of the Year: 9 consecutive years (2009-2017)
Ballons d’Or: 4 (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017)
Golden Shoe: 3 (2010-11, 2013-14, 2014-15)
The Merengues had not won the UEFA Champions League since 2002, but with their Portuguese talisman to the fore they have lifted four of the last five.
The first came in 2013/14, when the club completed La Décima, their tenth European Cup. Ronaldo scored the fourth in a 4-1 victory against city rivals Atlético, setting a UEFA Champions League record of 17 goals in a single season in doing so. There were memorable performances throughout that and every other campaign.
Two years later Ronaldo enjoyed an especially memorable summer as Madrid won another UEFA Champions League crown – again at the expense of Atlético – on penalties, the main man converting the winning spot kick in the shoot-out. Two months later he captained Portugal to improbable success at UEFA EURO 2016.
Ronaldo is comfortably the UEFA Champions League’s all-time leading scorer, his 120 total a full 20 clear of second-placed Lionel Messi. Ronaldo’s double against Juventus in the 2017 showpiece means he is the only player in history to have found the net in three finals.
He would come back to haunt the Bianconeri on the way to glory in last season’s competition, too, with a stunning bicycle kick in the first leg and a nerveless added time penalty in the return. That spot kick against his future employers was not only his last European strike for Madrid, it also made him the first player ever to have scored in 11 successive UEFA Champions League games.
Just another record to add to the collection.
*Figures according to Madrid’s official website