Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most recognisable names in world football – he’s certainly the most well-known footballer on the planet. What’s more, Ronaldo has also been nominated for both the Ballon D’Or and the World Player of the Year awards this year, and is viewed by most football fans as the de facto frontrunner.
While the deserving winner of these awards is always a matter of personal opinion, Ronaldo has had a singularly excellent season in terms of trophies and is a sure-shot certainty to end up on the podium. This is mainly because some of the best performances of his career have been on crucial Champions League nights in the 2015-16 season.
Here is a list of his 5 best performances from crunch encounters:
#5 Arsenal vs Manchester United, UEFA Champions League 2008-09
Man United headed into this away fixture at Arsenal after doing a tidy job at home, shutting out the Gunners in a 1-0 home victory. Arsenal were tipped to dominate proceedings at home, but Cristiano Ronaldo and Manchester United had other ideas.
He set up the first goal for Park Ji-Sung in the 7th minute with a first-time cross from the left wing after freeing himself from the attentions of Johan Djourou. In the 10th minute, he drew a foul from Robin van Persie and proceeded to convert the free-kick from 40 yards out.
The commentator couldn’t believe his eyes, exclaiming “Absolutely sensational! It went through Almunia – beaten for pace.”
The rest of the game was an exhibition of all of Ronaldo’s finest tricks and flicks, as United played with the command that comes with a 3-0 lead in the tie. Ronaldo scored the third goal with one of the fastest counterattacks ever seen in recent memory, combining wonderfully with Park and Rooney to finish off a move that began in United’s own penalty box.