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5 most memorable Cristiano Ronaldo moments of the decade 

Cristiano Ronaldo after Italian Supercup triumph
Cristiano Ronaldo after Italian Supercup triumph
Gokul

Winner, legend, phenomenon, extraterrestrial. One actually fall short of superlatives to describe this gem of a footballer. Watching Cristiano Ronaldo throughout his incredible career has been a pleasure for all of us. His constancy and longevity at football's helm with Lionel Messi has been a unique, extraordinary rivalry which has lasted for more than a decade.

If you have Ronaldo by your side, winning titles will become an expectation, rather than an achievement, such has been the impeccable standards he has set for himself. In fact, 555 goals in a decade aren't normal numbers by any stretch of the imagination. While scoring at a tremendous rate, he also added an abundance of trophies to his already overflowing trophy cabinet and bagged tons of individual honours as well. Indeed, the challenge of pulling together a list of Ronaldo moments worth remembering was a hell of a task, considering we had to shortlist five from a roster of hundreds of such moments. In this article, we relive a few of Ronaldo's iconic moments from the past decade.


#5 Running riot against Juventus in 2017 UCL Final

A glimpse of Ronaldo's ruthless performance
A glimpse of Ronaldo's ruthless performance

How about being ruthless an entire game making the world's best defensive trio and a celebrated goalkeeper look like deadwood? How about making a Champions League final look thoroughly one-sided? Well, that’s what we all got to witness back in Cardiff 3 years ago. Real Madrid created history in 2017 by winning back-to-back Champions League titles, and Cristiano Ronaldo once again ran the show.

It took him just 20 minutes to knock one into the back of the net. An effort from Mario Mandžukić levelled the scores going into half-time. However, Ronaldo had other plans as he wrapped up the tie with his second just after the hour mark. Casemiro helped the tie turn into a massacre with a third one and Luka Modrić then applied the final nail in the Bianconeri coffin.The final eventually appeared a cakewalk for Zinedine Zidane's men, all credits to their Portuguese talisman, who bagged the man-of-the-match award for his inspirational performance. In the process, Ronaldo also became the first player to score in three UEFA Champions League finals. He also rolled back the years for his old boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, who was present in the stands that day.

Also check out: Seria A table Champions League table Champions league top scorers

#4 The famous La Decima celebration in 2014

Ronaldo celebrating the Champions league triumph
Ronaldo celebrating the Champions league triumph

It was the fifth time the noisy neighbours Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid came head-to-head in the 2013-14 season and this time around, the prestigious Champions League trophy was for the taking. Atlético Madrid had wrapped up the La Liga title a week prior to this game and were so close to a remarkable double. With the kind of defence Atlético had at their disposal, a one-goal lead in the final felt sufficient to get them through. It nearly proved enough, only for Sergio Ramos to come up with a historic injury-time header and force an additional 30 minutes. Little we knew on what was about to come later. A ruthless, surgical Real Madrid side-swept aside the Roji Blancos in the extra time, adding 3 more goals to their tally, to clinch their 10th European Cup, the 'La Decima'.

Though he got on the score sheet through a well-taken penalty, nearly half of the Real Madrid team could boast of having had a better game than Ronaldo. Yet, he grabbed all the headlines for his shirtless antics in front of the Lisbon crowd. Ronaldo pulled his shirt off, flexed his muscles as if he is posing in a photoshoot for a Men's Health magazine. He also screamed in ecstasy after scoring in the dying moments of the game. More evidence that even with little involvement, Ronaldo shines brighter than almost any superstar out there. His antics were reminiscent of a Hollywood movie climax scene, and well, for a football enthusiast, it was more thrilling than that, to be honest.

#3 His first silverware for Portugal in Euro 2016

Portugal team with Euro 2016
Portugal team with Euro 2016

By looking at the way Portugal arrived at the tournament, this was not exactly the culmination that had been foreseen. Yet they put behind the ignominy of early exits in a major tournament by coming out with flying colours in Euro 2016. The best ever player to don the deep red colours of Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo made sure that he contributed enough to drag his team over the line.

He may not have had the best of starts, but stepped up his game as the tournament progressed. He netted twice in the 3-3 draw against Hungary, assisted a late winner deep into extra time in the last-16 win against Croatia. He also scored in the penalty shootout victory against Poland in the quarter-final, and his towering header, ensured that Portugal got past Wales in the semi-finals. However, the man of the big occasions had his final cut short by an awful injury. Yet, it didn't stop him from influencing the game from the sidelines. In extraordinary scenes in extra-time, Ronaldo functioned as an auxiliary manager, proving that he isn't afraid to take on any role, no matter how big. Not only was he organising and motivating them, he even gave tactical instructions, just like any manager would do. And in the end, all the honours was theirs for the taking.

Ronaldo may have experienced a wide range of emotions throughout his illustrious career and in Paris, he experienced all of it that one night. It will forever remain as one of the most iconic moments of Ronaldo's career.

#2 The free-kick against Spain in World Cup 2018

Ronaldo with the incredible freekick
Ronaldo with the incredible freekick

This FIFA World Cup 2018 group B game generated a lot more buzz than expected. Two heavyweights of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain and Portugal came head to head in a potential group winner decider. The fact that any result other than a stalemate would leave one team an upset away from a possible group stage exit also added to the excitement. As expected, it turned out a highly entertaining six-goal thriller and one man was at the heart of it all, Cristiano Ronaldo it was.

Twice Cristiano Ronaldo gave Portugal the lead, twice it cancelled out by Diego Costa. Nacho then came up with the goal of his life to give Spain a well-deserved lead. A free-kick was awarded in the 88th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo, who stepped up to take it, had previously attempted about 44 freekicks in World Cups alone, failing to find the back of the net even once. But if the name on the back of your shirt is Ronaldo, there is always scope for a miracle, and that's just what the 44,000 assembled in Sochi witnessed. He pulled up his shorts, took a deep breath and then snipped a right-footed shot around the wall so precisely that David de Gea could only appreciate the splendour of the goal.

Not only did it complete a remarkable comeback for Portugal, but this fine piece of artistry also turned out to be one of the most memorable moments from the 2018 World Cup.

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#1 That iconic bicycle kick against Juventus in 2018

Ronaldo's acrobatic finish past Buffon
Ronaldo's acrobatic finish past Buffon

Keeping in mind what happened in the previous year's Champions League final, Juventus knew this would be an uncomfortable evening before it had even started. It was a Champions League quarter-final game, it was summer of 2018 and Juventus were up against Real Madrid. A tightly packed Allianz Stadium in Turin witnessed yet another Ronaldo masterclass and it propelled Real Madrid to a comfortable 3-0 victory.

While his first goal didn't need any reality check to confirm that he is human, his second one was out of this world. The Portuguese international came up with one of the most exquisite bicycle kick goals ever seen. Making a customary run into the box behind the defence he latched on to a Daniel Carvajal Ramos cross that became an assist. He somehow controls his body in the air to connect his right foot with the ball and smashed it into the top corner. The only thing legendary keeper Gianluigi Buffon could do was to join the crowd to appreciate the beauty of the strike. Such a worldie it was. His teammates were stunned, so were his opponents. The ones in the stadium couldn't believe it either. Neither could the millions glued to the television screens. It's true we have witnessed countless iconic moments in the past decade, yet it will be hard to find anything better than this.

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Edited by rehaan díaz

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