Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players that have stepped on planet earth. The Portugal and Real Madrid all-time goal-scorer has been instrumental with every passing year. With his lucrative transfer from Real Madrid to Juventus in the month of July 2018, we take a look at nine of his most important goals with Real Madrid- one from each season.
2009/10: Real Madrid vs Deportivo La Coruna (La Liga)
Cristiano Ronaldo made his official debut in a Real Madrid shirt on the 29th of August 2009. While that match was against a promoted side, Real Madrid did struggle in that one. Real Madrid’s world record signing needed just 34 minutes to get his career off the mark. A penalty put Real Madrid 2-1 up in the game. The Whites eventually went on to win the league’s opening fixture by a 3-2 scoreline.
That season was one of the least memorable ones for a Real Madrid fan. Cristiano Ronaldo’s first goal is thus his most important of his opening campaign in Spain’s capital as it helped him open his Real Madrid account.
2010/11: Barcelona vs Real Madrid (Copa del Rey Final)
Real Madrid faced off against Barcelona in the 2010/11 Copa del Rey final. While the Whites were competing for their only silverware of the season, Barcelona were hoping to win a trophy that would allow them to complete the treble. Having been deadlocked at 0-0 for ninety minutes, the match was headed for extra time.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Cristiano Ronaldo rose above Adriano to head the winner 17 minutes from the 120-minute mark. That was Ronaldo’s first piece of silverware with his new club. By capitalizing on Di Maria’s sensational cross, Ronaldo also capped off his first fifty goal season by getting his 53rd on the night.
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2011/12: Barcelona vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
The Whites visited the Camp Nou with one eye towards getting one hand onto the league trophy. Sami Khedira had opened the scoring in the 17th minute. Late on in the second half, Alexis Sanchez equalized for the Catalans. Within three minutes of the Chilean’s goal, Ronaldo pounced onto Mesut Ozil’s brilliant through ball. The Portugal captain rounded Victor Valdes and finished off a brilliant move. Following the goal, Ronaldo imitated Raul’s ‘calma, calma’ celebration.
That goal by Cristiano didn’t just silence close to one hundred thousand people in the Camp Nou, but also silenced Barcelona’s hopes of the La Liga title. Real went forward to lift the title later that month with an unprecedented 100 points.
2012/13: Real Madrid vs Barcelona (Spanish Super Cup)
Ronaldo’s most important goal of 2012/13 came at the very start of a disappointing season. Real Madrid hosted Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup’s second leg fixture. Jose Mourinho’s troops were hoping to turn around a 3-2 deficit. Just eleven minutes in, Gonzalo Higuain scored to put Madrid 1-0 up. Eight minutes later, Ronaldo flicked the ball over Gerard Pique with lovely technique. He then unleashed a powerful shot which was too fast for Valdes to stop.
Madrid won 2-1 on that night and won the Super Cup on the away goals rule with a 4-4 aggregate score.
2013/14: Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)
Real Madrid were just two matches away from the long-awaited La Decima. Carlo Ancelotti’s men went to the Allianz Arena with a 1-0 home victory in the first leg courtesy of Karim Benzema. Their Bavarian opponents were favourites to win this tie, but Ancelotti’s warriors had other ideas.
Sergio Ramos scored two goals in a gap of four minutes in the opening twenty minutes. With 70 minutes still on the clock, there was hope for Bayern Munich who needed three goals to progress to the finals. In the 34th minute, Real Madrid went from one end of the pitch to the other in the blink of an eye. One of the best counter attacks in recent memory was finished off by Ronaldo. That was not just the killer blow to Bayern’s hopes making it to the finals. Individually also, that goal was very important to Ronaldo. It was his 15th of the Champions League that season which ensured he broke Leo Messi’s record of scoring 14 in one campaign. Later, he added a beautiful free kick that helped Real Madrid thrash Pep’s Bayern 4-0 in their own backyard.
2014/15: Sevilla vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
Carlo Ancelotti’s second and final campaign with the Whites was one to forget. There was nothing to boast in particular after an absolutely lacklustre second half of the season. However, Cristiano Ronaldo’s third goal on the 9th of May, 2015 gets my vote as his most important goal in that season. Real travelled to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to face Sevilla away from home. The Andalusians had not lost a single match at home but things were about to change for them.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick, his third was a curving header from a very weird angle. That display helped Real win 3-2 and seal second place in the league.
2015/16: Real Madrid vs Wolfsburg (UEFA Champions League)
Real Madrid faced Wolfsburg in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League quarter-final. With the domestic trophies out of their hands in long, interim boss Zidane’s team lost 2-0 away to their German opponents. In the second leg, Wolfsburg went completely defensive but the miraculous Ronaldo still managed to save the Whites’ skin. The forward scored a hat-trick in that fixture to steer Real into the Champions League semi-finals. His third was a direct free kick of unbelievable composure.
That goal helped Real Madrid to register a 3-0 win on the night and a 3-2 aggregate score in their favour.
2016/17: Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid (UEFA Champions League)
Real Madrid were drawn against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in the club’s best season in its long history.
Zizou’s men fell 1-0 behind at halftime. Ronaldo equalized early in the second half. The Portuguese then scored a late winner through Manuel Neuer’s legs. The Whites won 2-1 in the Allianz Arena that night. Ronaldo’s second goal was his one hundredth across European club competitions. While that goal hasn’t received the deserved credit, its absence would have meant that Real Madrid would have been out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals itself. This was because Bayern had secured a 2-1 win in the ninety minutes only to be battered 4-2 in extra time.
2017/18: Real Madrid vs Juventus (UEFA Champions League)
The Champions League holders Real Madrid got with them a 3-0 away lead to the Santiago Bernabeu. Juventus came into that match hoping to perform a miracle of turning the tie around in Madrid.
The Italian champions went 2-0 up before half-time thanks to Mario Mandzukic’s brace. A howler from Keylor Navas then gifted Blaise Matuidi a goal to make it 3-0. Hence, the aggregate scores were equal. In the stoppage time, Medhi Benatia lunged into Lucas Vazquez from the back. Referee Michael Oliver, who had a clear view of the incident, decided to award the Whites a very late penalty. In the aftermath and protests, Gigi Buffon was sent off. Up stepped Ronaldo against Szczesny and as expected, he scored. Madrid went on to lose 3-1 that night but progressed to the semi-finals with a 4-3 aggregate score. Incidentally, Ronaldo’s last Champions League goal with the Whites came against his future recruits in controversial circumstances.