It’s been some time since Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench for Manchester United in a 4-0 win in 2003. It was clear from this very moment that there was a special player developing and George Best said it was “undoubtedly the most exciting debut” he had ever seen.
He may be heading towards the twilight of his career, but Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United in 2021, and the way he has carried the team, is proof that he is nowhere near done. There’s a reason why he is still one of the most enticing soccer betting options out there when it comes to his goal-scoring record.
In this blog post, we’re going to take a look back at some of the most iconic moments in Ronaldo’s career, as well as soccer betting tips, if you’re thinking about putting money on the ultimate soccer GOAT (greatest of all time.)
First Premier League title: 2007
Mikael Silvestre, a former United teammate of Ronaldo’s said, “At the start, no one had even heard of Ronaldo, but by the end, everyone knew about him.”
Ronaldo was persuaded to join Manchester United by Sir Alex Ferguson at the start of the 2003-04 season and it’s doubtful that even Fergie himself imagined “that boy Ronaldo” would reach the dizzying heights that he did. The relatively unknown teenager went on to play 292 games for United, lighting up the League with his dribbling skills and free kicks.
His first Premier League title at the Red Devils was won in 2007 and he went on to win two other League titles, as well as the Champions League, one FA Cup and two League Cups.
THAT goal against Porto: 2009
All in all, Ronaldo scored 118 goals in his first stint at Manchester United, but there is one that stands out above the rest. United were up against Porto in the Champions League and Ronaldo picked up the ball about 40 yards from goal. He wasn’t audacious enough to try and score from that distance, was he? Of course he was! He blasted the shot into the top corner of the goal and helped his team through to their second successive Champions League final.
The goal went on to win the inaugural FIFA Puskas award for goal of the year.
Scores to win the Copa del Rey: 2011
Ronaldo moved to Real Madrid for a world-record fee at the time but, of course, he would start to repay this almost immediately. The biggest game in Spanish soccer is undoubtedly the Copa del Rey final which pits bitter rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona against one another for the ultimate bragging rights.
If you bet on soccer games, then you’ll know that at the time, betting on Ronaldo to score a scorching header was pretty safe. He rose to an impossible height at the far post and headed home a sublime cross from Angel de Maria to clinch his first trophy at Real Madrid.
Becomes the top goal-scorer for Real: 2015
Ronaldo was with Real Madrid for nine seasons, during which he played 438 games and scored an unbelievable 450 goals. He became the all-time leading goal scorer for the club in October 2015 when he scored his 324th goal against Levante.
Takes Portugal all the way in the Euros: 2016
Despite his incredible domestic success, his international success hadn’t hit the same levels. 2016 was the year that the online sports betting odds weighed in that he would finally lift an international trophy and they were correct. Portugal went on to beat France in the final in Paris and lift the Euros trophy. Ronaldo was injured during the match and had to be carried off at the 26th-minute mark, but still, he returned to lift the trophy and the bittersweet match will live forever in his memory.
Wins his fifth Ballon d’Or: 2017
The Ballon d’Or is soccer’s most coveted individual trophy and although his first win in 2008 was a hugely significant moment, as were the ones he won in 2013, 2014 and 2016, it was his fifth trophy that was the most significant.
To be voted the best player in the world for the fifth time is simply astounding and came after he helped Real Madrid win the La Liga title and scored a brace in their 4-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League final.
100 Champions League goals: 2018
In 2018, Ronaldo became the first-ever player to have scored a century of goals in the Champions League. He is still the player with the most Champions League goals of all time, with Lionel Messi a short way behind him.
The audacious bicycle kick: 2018
It’s not often opposition fans will applaud goals scored against them, but Juventus fans couldn’t help themselves when Ronaldo scored an outrageous bicycle kick against their team in the 2018 Champions League quarter-finals.
Of course, he did go on to join Juventus the next season, which made up for the heartbreak that he had caused.
First player to win UEFA Champions League five times: 2018
Ronaldo has won plenty of titles, but he was the first person to ever win five Champions League titles. Another amazing record for the superstar player. He won the trophy for the first time at Manchester United in 2008. He then went on to win in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Became the highest international goal scorer in history: 2021
On September 1, 2021, at the age of 36, Ronaldo became the highest-ever international goal scorer in history. He scored twice against the Republic of Ireland to overtake Iranian player Ali Daei, the only other men’s player to have scored a century of international goals.
Becomes highest goal scorer in soccer history: 2022
In March 2022, Ronaldo scored twice against Tottenham Hotspur to take his goal tally (at the time) to 806 professional goals. The previous record was held by Josef Bican who played between 1931 and 1955 and had a total of 805 goals to his name.
Betting on Ronaldo
As you can see, Ronaldo’s career has been a glittering one and there’s no reason to think he’ll take his foot off the gas anytime soon. With this in mind, here are the soccer betting odds to look at when betting on Ronaldo:
- Shots on target: Props bets are a growing type of soccer betting and you can take a guess how many shots Ronaldo will get on target in a game, even if they are saved by the keeper.
- Anytime scorer: Of course, if Ronaldo’s on the field, he’s likely to score. This is the type of bet you can make that he will score at any stage during the game.
- Anytime assist: Similar to the above, but rather that he will help one of his teammates to score during the game.
- Hat-trick: Ronaldo has scored 60 hat-tricks so far in his playing career on the domestic and international stage, with two in the Premier League in the 2021-22 season.
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