Cristiano Ronaldo: Net Worth, Transfer Fees, Goalscoring Records & More
Cristiano Ronaldo, an award-winning professional footballer and one of the greatest players of all time, is an idol for not just future generations but his peers.
Widely considered one of the most successful athletes ever and one of the highest paid athletes, the current Manchester United star boasts an exquisite trophy cabinet, including five Ballon d’Or awards, four European Golden Shoes, and over 32 trophies.
Let’s take a quick look at this phenomenal player’s career achievements.
With over 1,160 senior appearances for club and country, Ronaldo has joined a select club of players to have smashed a 1,100-appearance milestone throughout his marvellous career.
His widespread career success has helped him acquire a substantial fortune over the course of his illustrious football journey, with estimated career earnings exceeding $1 billion and a salary of $115 million, says Forbes.
In 2021, Ronaldo became the first active team-sport athlete to reach $1 billion in career earnings as he left Juventus to return to Man Utd in a blockbuster transfer.
His current wages make him the third-highest paid athlete in the world.
However, the Portugal captain maintains several lucrative streams of income off the pitch, including his lifetime deal with Nike and his CR7-branded clothing, accessories and hotels.
After making a name for himself at Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo convinced Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson to dash out €19m to take him to Old Trafford in 2003.
His stellar career in the Premier League earned him a then-world record transfer to Real Madrid, with Los Blancos pouring €94m into United’s coffers to capture his signature in 2009.
Ronaldo’s career in La Liga was an epic success, but Juventus came up with a sensational €117m bid to switch him to Turin in 2018 at the age of 33.
Three years after moving to Serie A, he returned to Man Utd for around €15m, taking his cumulative transfer fees to €245m.
Goals, goals & more goals
No task is too tall for Ronaldo if it only requires scoring goals. The superstar veteran has been a goalscoring machine for club and country over the past two decades.
He won Premier League Golden Boot in 2007/08, finished top scorer in La Liga three times (2010–11, 2013–14, and 2014–15) and also in Serie A, where he claimed the Capocannoniere award in the 2020/21 season.
During his trophy-laden spell at Real Madrid, he bagged a staggering 450 goals in 438 appearances, entering the club’s folklore as the all-time highest scorer.
He is also one of only four players in history to have won the European Golden Shoe in consecutive seasons, with only Lionel Messi (6) lifting the prize on more occasions than Ronaldo (4).
The 37-year-old has been equally impressive at an international level, with his supreme record of 117 goals scored for Portugal being a comfortable all-time high in men’s international football.
According to various sources, his career goals tally currently stands at 815, making him the ‘top goalscorer in recongised FIFA matches.’
While many regard Ronaldo as the most prolific football player of all time, the record itself is open to interpretation, with some still backing Brazilian icon Pele as the undisputed owner.
Champions League King
So synonymous with the famous Champions League anthem, Ronaldo holds numerous records in the competition, most of which no one will be able to replicate once he calls time on his illustrious career.
The 36-year-old found the net in both Champions League starts for Man United last term, becoming the player to register the most appearances in Europe’s elite competition with 178.
A proven winner Ronaldo boasts the competition-high 108 wins, something the Red Devils faithful won’t be able to see this season after United failed to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition.
Keeping Cristiano at bay is probably the most formidable task any defender in the Champions League can take. The quicksilver forward remains the only player to score in 11 straight games in the competition.
He is also the joint-record holder for the most Champions League hat-tricks alongside Leo Messi with eight, though he is the only player to bag three hat-tricks in a single campaign.
Before Karim Benzema’s sensational 2021/23 season, Ronaldo was the only player to score back-to-back hat-tricks in the Champions League knock-out phase, doing so against non-other than Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid in 2016/17.
The ex-Real Madrid talisman has also tallied a competition-high 67 knock-out stage goals.
Despite defending Juventus’ colours for three years before returning to Old Trafford this summer, the record-time Italian champions are Ronaldo’s favourite Champions League opposition.
Cristiano has racked up ten Champions League goals against his former employers en route to becoming the only player to score 10+ goals against a single club in the competition’s history.
While enjoying a rise to stardom at Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo took his total Champions League title count to five, which is a standout achievement among his peers.
He was on the scoresheet in his first appearance in the Champions League final during his first spell at Man United, helping the Red Devils oust bitter Premier League rivals Chelsea in the 2007/08 showpiece via penalties.
Since moving to Madrid, Ronaldo troubled the scoreboard in two of his four Champions League finals to become the only player to score in three showpiece events.
And for those who still consider Ronaldo an egoistic, self-centered player, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has laid on more assists (42) than any other player in Champions League history.
World Cup Dream – Potential Career-Defining Achievement
Ronaldo has won every single piece of silverware there is to win in club football, conquering the Champions League with two different sides and wrapping up league titles in three of Europe’s top-five divisions.
In addition to countless individual accomplishments, including his record-breaking 117 goals tally in international football, the Portugal captain also boasts the European Championship crown in his glittering trophy cabinet.
After leading the Selecao to a long-awaited Euro triumph in 2016, Ronaldo refused to step back and went on to take his side atop the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
Well aware of his football legacy as he enters the autumn of his playing career, Cristiano knows that winning the World Cup could be a career-defining achievement that would stand out among his peers.
While it looks like a long shot, Ronaldo has managed to upset the odds so many times throughout his standout career, and it is hard to make a case for him not to go all the way down at Qatar 2022.
A potential World Cup success would go a long way in his resume in establishing him as one of the greatest players to grace the game, and there’s no doubt he will fight tooth and nail to make it happen.
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