If asked any one man who can mold football on his own, the answered player should be Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese megastar defines an entire generation of 'The Beautiful Game'. Football is blessed to have this player conduct unthinkable heroics on the pitch. One of the greatest players ever to play the sport, Cristiano Ronaldo is million's day-night emotion.
Ronaldo has made such an impact by flooding in fame performances in his career. At the age of 35, the once Sporting CP prodigy is glowing as usual. Cristiano is influential in almost each and every match he ties his shoelaces for. So, it is really hard to determine those games that flexed his greatness. But we gave it a try.
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To salute his immense contribution he's done for the clubs he has played and the sport altogether, we chose five of his most memorable performances in this article:
5. Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (Champions League semi-final, 2009)
This is probably the best game Cristiano Ronaldo had in a Manchester United shirt. None other than in the mega stage, the Champions League. A tournament that he bossed over a series of years. In 2009, Ronaldo guided the club to a Champions League title and claim his first piece of this silverware. Before the final against Chelsea, United had to face Arsenal in the two-legged semifinals. Leading 1-0 on aggregate, the tie was perfectly poised at the Emirates. But Ronaldo doused any chances from their rivals to get into the showpiece final. He first setup Ji-Seung park to open up the scoring in just the eighth minute before firing an unforgettable 40-yard free-kick. The brawler then added a second to his tally to make the evening even sweeter for the Red Devils.
4. Barcelona 1-2 Real Madrid (La Liga, 2012)
Cristiano Ronaldo has also been an athlete to excel in world football's most thrilling derby, the 'El Classico'. Three years since joining the Los Blancos and in his prime, Ronaldo created a defining moment on April 21st, 2012. He unleashed the iconic 'Calma' celebration after scoring the winner in that game, in front of the Camp Nou crowd. It also resulted in Real Madrid taking a seven-point lead on top of the chart and piping Barcelona to the La Liga title. Sami Khedira gave the white shirt the lead in the first half but Alexis Sanchez leveled things up in the 70th minute for the Catalans. Then the moment arrived. Angel Di Maria made a fine run from deep to play in Ozil, the German's exquisite first-time pass helped Cristiano beat the offside trap. He then managed to slide in behind onrushing Victor Valdes to seal the deal.
3. Juventus 0-3 Real Madrid (Champions League quarter finals, 2018)
The game allowed Cristiano Ronaldo to join Juventus, ending his nine-year stay at Real Madrid. The king of competition displayed another magnificent performance in the quarter-final stage. He scored an important brace in Turin to lift the Spanish giants and eventually led them to another Champions League title. Ronaldo netted his first goal with an outstanding right boot flick from Isco 's pass but it was his second goal that caught the headline. Minute 64, Juventus lost the ball aiding a Real Madrid counter. From Buffon's initial save, Dani Carvajal fizzed in a cross which the Portuguese put it in the back of the net through an outrageous bicycle-kick. The shot was so good that the opposition fan stood up to applause. Ronaldo signed for Juventus the following season by making one of the greatest goals in the competition history.
2. Portugal 3-3 Spain (World Cup, 2018)
The list may be full of Ronaldo's antics at the club level but he is the same beast on the international level too. Not only is he the all-time highest scorer for his country but also the active highest International goal-scorer in the world. The goal-hungry attitude of Ronaldo is out of this world. Among the finest shows he unveiled in a Portugal shirt, this match in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia was mind-blowing. The Iberian derby caught the rightful spectacle for one man again, Cristiano Ronaldo. The forward gave his side the lead from the penalty shot before gunning another past De Gea in the first half. Then Ronaldo created that iconic free-kick in the dying amber of the game to complete his hattrick and save his side from disappointment. Ronaldo showed his fighting character in the time of asking yet again.
1. Juventus 3-0 Atletico Madrid (Champions League round of 16, 2019)
However, his most defining performance of his career should be the mouth-watering come back Ronaldo constructed against Atletico Madrid. It ultimately proved that he is a total package of entertaining the best mind of the sport. Ronaldo is just at a different superiority level. Trailing 2-0 from the first leg, the Old Lady of Turin had to do all to enter the quarter-final stage of the 2018/19 season. They got what they wanted. Cristiano shined in the big platform yet again and scored a vicious hat trick to rout the opposition he loves to score against time and time again. Diego Simeone of Atletico Madrid left in dismay by the mega star who came back to haunt him. Ronaldo scored two bullet headers past Jan Oblak to begin with before converting the spot in a thrilling display. No matter what happens, this guy is ready to do the unthinkable.