Cristiano Ronaldo is widely considered as one of the best players in the world right now. The 31-year-old forward first came into the spotlight in a friendly match between Sporting Lisbon and Manchester United in 2003 and has never looked back since.
Since his days as a young United player, Ronaldo developed a special skill of scoring from direct free-kicks. He is renowned for his deadly knuckleball-style dipping free-kicks and football lovers all around the world have tried to imitate his style.
It takes a player with immaculate skill to hit the ball over the wall and get it into the goal by beating the goalkeeper. And every time Ronaldo stands over the ball – legs wide and arms straight down – fans await with bated breath, hoping the ball goes into the net.
The three-time Ballon d’Or winner has scored 48 times from direct free-kicks in his career. Here, we have selected the five best free-kick goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo over the course of his career.
#5 UEFA Champions League semi-final vs Bayern Munich 2014
Real Madrid were on their way to the coveted La Decima. They had already defeated Bayern Munich in the first leg of the semi-final at home 1-0 and were cruising 3-0 at the Allianz Arena when Ronaldo was tripped just outside the box in the final minute of regulation time.
He lined up the free-kick in his usual demeanour. Only this time, he delayed his run up just long enough for the wall to jump and smartly snuck the ball beneath the wall. It was the simplest goal and yet it was so cheeky.
Manuel Neuer, the world’s best goalkeeper did not even dive. After all, there was no point. He had been outwitted fair and square by Ronaldo’s ingenuity. It was the final ignominy that Bayern suffered as they slumped to a 4-0 defeat at home.