Another match, another milestone met for Portugal’s top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo. Monday 14th October 2019 marks the date that Cristiano hit 700 career goals, with a penalty against Ukraine in a 2-1 defeat for his nation.
An absolutely extraordinary feat, courtesy of an even more extraordinary talent. The man from Madeira continues to break records, even as he travels through his 30s. At 34, Cristiano is showing no signs of slowing down, scoring goals frequently both for his national side and his club-side Juventus.
Aaron Barton for Próxima Jornada breaks down Cristiano’s incredible feat, highlighting the momentous goals in his career on the path to 700. All goal’s are in chronological order.
The first of the 700
7th October 2002: Cristiano grabbed his first ever career goal, a wonderful solo effort against Moreirense for Sporting CP in the Primeira Liga. He added to this goal with another in the same match.
Cristiano’s brief time at Sporting, an an fantastic pefromance in a pre-season match against Manchester United was enough to convince Sir Alex Ferguson to purchase the boy from Madeira. I’m not sure even Sir Alex knew just how good the player he’d bought would turn out to be.
First goal for Manchester United
1st November 2003: Cristiano scored his first goal for his new club against Portsmouth in the Premiership. With Manchester United already 1-0 up through Diego Forlan, Sir Alex threw Ronaldo into the fray with 75 minutes on the clock. Cristiano scored just 5 minutes later with a right footed finish, but he wasn’t done yet. 2 minutes later he turned provider, assisting Roy Keane for the third, ensuring all 3 points would go to Manchester United.
First goal in a cup final
May 22nd 2004: Cristiano has always had a penchant for scoring in finals. He is undoubtedly, one of, if not the greatest big game player. Whenever his club or country need him, it seems like he is always there on hand to help out and in the beginnings of his career it was no different. The FA Cup final, what a first final to play in. Manchester United took on Millwall, after 43 minutes the game was locked at 0-0. United were on top but were frustrated by Millwall’s resolute defending and it looked like the Red Devils would be going into half-time at 0-0. That was until Cristiano had his say. A header opened the scoring following a Gary Neville cross. United went onto win the match 3-0. (Goal is at 1:40)
Cristiano’s first goal for his nation, his beloved Seleção
12th June 2004: Cristiano scores a late consolation effort in a 2-1 defeat against Greece in Euro 2004. Announcing yourself on the international stage in a major tournament is the best way to do it. (The goal is at 2:14 on the video)
First Champions League goal
10th April 2007: Cristiano had to wait 26 matches for his first UEFA Champions League goal, a surprising statistic indeed! Today, he sits atop of the all-time Champions League goal scorers with 127 goals. United hosted Italian side AS Roma in what was a 7-1 mauling. Cristiano grabbed his first and second goal either side of half time. His first came on 44 minutes and his second 49 minutes. Just listen to the commentary when he scores and his celebration, you can see how relieved he was to finally break his European duck. (Goal is at 2:00)
12th January 2008: Ronaldo had to wait until 2008 to get his first hat-trick. It came in a fantastic performance against Newcastle, surprisingly it was his only hat-trick during his time at Manchester United.
Free-kick v Portsmouth in the Premier League
30th January 2008: Old Trafford, midweek, under the lights. Cristiano scored one of, if not his most memorable goal in the red of Manchester United. He opened the scoring after 10 minutes but that is not the goal that is remembered, it is his strike some 2 minutes later that will replayed for years to come. He places the ball down, takes 4 steps backwards and gets himself into his famous pose before approaching the ball and striking a ferocious effort past a hapless David James in goal. The video below courtesy of Manchester United has a multitude of angles, each one better than the last. A truly astonishing goal.
Portugal v Sweden: World Cup Play-off Second Leg
November 19th 2013: A performance that will be remembered forever. An iconic match and an iconic performance from Cristiano. When his nation needed him, he stepped up to the plate in what is one of the best matches I have ever watched. Portugal had managed to get a play-off round place to go to the 2014 World Cup, but in their way was Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden. Two of the biggest footballers in the world faced off in a battle to see who would take their side to South Africa. Cristiano opened the scoring, before being pegged back to 1-1 and then 2-1 down courtesy of 2 Zlatan goals. This is when Cristiano went into clutch mode. in the 77th minute he equalised and 2 minutes later grabbed his third and Portugal’s third, a goal which would ultimately be the winner and secure Portugal’s place on the plane to the FIFA World Cup.
Champions League final goal v Atletico
24th May 2014: The game may have been done, with Real Madrid leading 3-1 in extra time, but what a way to get a Champions League final goal, against your cross-city rivals Atlético Madrid. CR7 made no mistake from the spot. (Goal is at 8:56)
Overhead/Bicycle kick v Juventus
3rd April 2018: Arguably Ronaldo’s best ever career goal and a personal favourite of the man himself. Incredible, audacity, technique and athleticism. Dani Carvajal picks up the ball out on the right, swings in a cross and Ronaldo does the rest. Words cant really describe or do this goal justice, so i’m going to let the video do it for me.
Hat-trick against Spain in the 2018 FIFA World Cup
15th June 2018: Another iconic performance from Cristiano, even at the age of 33 years old. He refused to give up against Spain and pulled his Portugal side to a 3-3 draw. One of the most entertaining Portugal games and games at the World Cup. A wonderful moment for Cristiano to get a hat-trick against the then-world champions and Iberian rivals, Spain.
Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 700th career goal in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ukraine
14th October 2019: With his side 2-0 down, Cristiano scored from the spot to make it 2-1 in a European qualifier. Unfortunately his side could not get the all important equaliser but this goal will be remembered longer than the result. 700 goals and he still isn’t finished.
Breakdown of goals by club:
Sporting CP – 5 goals
Manchester United – 118 goals
Real Madrid – 450 goals
Juventus – 32 goals (and counting!)
Portugal – 95 goals (and counting!)