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Ranking Cristiano Ronaldo's top 5 teammates

  • Cristiano Ronaldo has cemented himself as one of football's all-time greats in recent years.
  • With that being said, here's a look at Cristiano Ronaldo's five best teammates during a memorable career to date.
Mo Omi
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
Modified 22 May 2020, 20:42 IST

Cristiano Ronaldo with former Real Madrid teammates Marcelo and Karim Benzema
Cristiano Ronaldo with former Real Madrid teammates Marcelo and Karim Benzema

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed an illustrious career filled with trophies and individual accolades aplenty. 

He expected to earn more during the delayed 2019-20 season in Turin with Juve, who were top of Serie A and dark horses for a deep Champions League run too. It was his stoppage-time penalty vs AC Milan which helped them draw their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg too. 

Who are Cristiano Ronaldo's best teammates?

However, it's time to look at some unsung heroes during the Portugal star's career. Here's a look at Cristiano Ronaldo's top 5 teammates, in no particular order: 

1. Karim Benzema

Ronaldo and Benzema celebrate a goal during the 2017-2018 La Liga season against Malaga
Ronaldo and Benzema celebrate a goal during the 2017-2018 La Liga season against Malaga

A lot has been said in two years since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Real, but Karim Benzema made sacrifices aplenty to both accommodate and play better alongside the Portuguese star.

No-one has played more matches with Cristiano Ronaldo (342) than Benzema, while the pair combined to create 76 goals for one another during their near-decade together on the pitch.

Benzema had to settle for a role as Real's second attacking option behind Ronaldo, despite being the more natural centre-forward when both joined in 2009.

The former France international has regularly been criticised for deferring to others, but importantly showed an unselfish side that not many world-class forwards possess so the pair could better co-exist in the same system.

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2. Mesut Özil

Ozil and Ronaldo enjoyed a telepathic connection on the pitch during their four years together.
Ozil and Ronaldo enjoyed a telepathic connection on the pitch during their four years together.

One teammate who Cristiano Ronaldo certainly did not appreciate being sold by Real Madrid in 2013, was Mesut Özil.

The pair enjoyed a telepathic connection on the pitch and only one player besides Benzema has combined for more goals alongside Cristiano Ronaldo during his career.

38 goals in 149 appearances is an impressive achievement when you consider Real's sheer firepower during the 2010-13 seasons. Özil was operating in the number ten role as their central attacking midfielder, before being shifted onto the wings to accommodate other players.

Kaka, Angel di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain were all among the goals too, while Luka Modric's creativity arrived in 2012 to further bolster their attacking options.

3. Gareth Bale

Bale
Bale's persistent injury issues stopped him from developing a real partnership alongside Ronaldo.

Originally heralded as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo's throne in Madrid, Gareth Bale's stock has dropped drastically in recent seasons. That's not entirely his fault either, with troublesome injuries constantly hampering him when Real were at their collective peak.

Nonetheless, he combined with Ronaldo for 41 goals in 157 matches together - a 4% improvement on Benzema's numbers alongside him per game.

That's important to note as Benzema's the only player with more contributions than Bale, although he played in excess of 10,000 further minutes alongside Ronaldo.

It makes you wonder what they could have achieved, had Bale been fortunate enough to stay fit throughout their time together at the Bernabeu.

4. Marcelo

Ronaldo and Marcelo celebrating after Real
Ronaldo and Marcelo celebrating after Real's 2018 Champions League Final win over Liverpool

Speculation surrounding Marcelo's Real future has seen him linked with a possible Juventus move over the past year, where he'd reunite with close friend Cristiano Ronaldo.

It's no surprise, either. Only the aforementioned Benzema and Sergio Ramos (339) have made more appearances alongside Ronaldo during his career to date.

As far as goal contributions are concerned, Marcelo has a respectable amount too - considering he's an attack-minded fullback.

Regularly bombing down the flanks, spraying passes and scanning for forward options, it's no surprise there's such a difference in their stats.

Twenty-five of their 33 combined goals have been assisted by Marcelo, and while both are entering the twilight of legendary careers, it's nice to imagine them continuing that partnership in Turin.

5. Wayne Rooney

Rooney and Ronaldo celebrate a goal during the 2008-09 season against Bolton Wanderers.
Rooney and Ronaldo celebrate a goal during the 2008-09 season against Bolton Wanderers.

Last but certainly not least, Wayne Rooney features on this list as the player who combined alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at the earliest age.

During his formative years at Manchester United, Ronaldo was a bonafide winger and although had potential, wasn't always regarded in the same way as Rooney - who burst onto the scene with Everton two years prior.

It's perhaps why they only combined for one of their 25 goals in the first 18 months playing together, as both were young and had different responsibilities in a United team packed with experience.

However, that soon changed, and they became strike partners once Ruud van Nistelrooy departed in 2006. Ronaldo assisted 11, Ronaldo 14 - reiterating the attacking balance they shared during a time when Cristiano wasn't yet concerned with being the club's chief goalscorer like he has since evolved into.


Published 22 May 2020, 20:42 IST
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