Cristiano Ronaldo: His most iconic moments - watch 'Ronaldo' documentary on Sky Sports on Sunday

April 30, 2020

Ahead of Sky Sports airing the 'Ronaldo' documentary at 8pm on Sunday, we take a look at his most iconic moments from a quite extraordinary career.

The five-time World Player of the Year can also can boast European Championship and Nations League glory with his country, plus, off the field, he's also the most followed person on Instagram with 215million fans.

For the first time on Sky Sports, follow the remarkable life and career of the Portuguese football icon in this candid documentary filmed over the course of 14 months. It's a film that provides an insight into the mind of a super human athlete where the word 'defeat' has never entered his head as he possessed an inhuman desire to succeed.

Here, we take a look at some of most iconic moments that has shaped his career...

'Knuckleball' free-kick vs Portsmouth

This will go down in history as the most perfect of perfect free-kicks. And one which still probably haunts former Portsmouth goalkeeper David James to this day - surely getting asked: 'what was it like to face that Ronaldo free-kick?' gets a little tiresome over time.

In a season when he was at the forefront as Manchester United won the Premier League and the Champions League during the same year, Ronaldo lit up Old Trafford most weeks but this goal will live long in the memory of all football fans. From 30 yards, he plunged the dead ball with bewildering accuracy and power straight into the top corner to put United 2-0 up and secure a vital three points in the title race.

Ronaldo - with this goal - joined the likes of Roberto Carlos, David Beckham and Ronaldinho as a master of the dead ball. The imperious strike - known as the 'knuckleball' technique - completely revolutionised the way players stepped up to take a dangerous free-kick.

Ronaldo return ends Fergie dream

In Sir Alex Ferguson's last year at Manchester United in 2013, his side looked set for a place in the Champions League quarter-final but a returning Ronaldo pooped the party on his first appearance at Old Trafford since moving to Real Madrid for a world-record transfer fee four years earlier.

With United ahead, the tie swung in Real's favour when Nani was sent off for an aerial challenge on Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa after 56 minutes - a decision that visibly frustrated Ferguson on the touchline.

Jose Mourinho's side then netted two goals in three minutes from Luka Modric and Ronaldo, who famously decided against celebrating despite the magnitude of his winning goal.

'La Decima'

Ronaldo claimed his first Champions League success with Real Madrid in fitting fashion, beating rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 to win Real their tenth European Cup. Twelve years after their ninth victory, the club finally ended their burning ambition to win what was called 'La Decima'.

Ronaldo, who scored 17 goals in 13 Champions League games that season, capped the victory in Lisbon by scoring the fourth goal in extra-time from the penalty spot. Cue a classic Ronaldo celebration.

Breaking Raul's record

Ronaldo's second goal against Malmo in 2015 won't ring many bells to even the most dedicated follower of the legendary striker, yet, that goal symbolises his legacy at Real Madrid. That goal took Ronaldo past Raul in the highest goalscorer in the club's history, achieving the 324 landmark in 433 fewer games that the Spaniard.

Ronaldo left Madrid having scored 451 goals, a record that is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.

Ronaldo referenced the record-breaking feat, saying: "Breaking this record at the best club in the world is a real honour for me.

"I have great admiration for Raul. He sent me a message after the match congratulating me."

A transfer that shocked the world

After 451 goals in 438 appearances at Real Madrid - including 44 in 44 games in his last season - Ronaldo's move to Juventus was a huge, unexpected twist in the 2018 summer transfer window. The fee for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was in the region of £105m.

Ronaldo spent nine glittering seasons with Madrid but ultimately felt he wasn't appreciated enough by the club and president Florentino Perez.

He won Serie A in his first season in Italy, becoming the first player to win titles in England, Spain and Italy.

The King of Portugal

His crowing moment on the international stage was at Euro 2016, where he played a pivotal role in Portugal's first major tournament win.

Given the remarkable feats of individual brilliance conjured up by Ronaldo for Portugal throughout his time on the international stage it is ironic that, although his influence on the outcome was still huge, Ronaldo cruelly was forced out of their final with France with injury after just 25 minutes, following a fierce challenge from Dimitri Payet.

There were tears, treatments and numerous attempts to play on before, eventually, came the realisation Portugal were going to have to do it without him.

That wasn't the end of his involvement, though. From the bench, Ronaldo kicked every ball, lived every emotion of his team-mates out on the field. By extra-time he was out in the technical area passing on instructions, darting around boss Fernando Santos to convey his own messages on how to win: coaching. And then, there he was again, at the centre of the celebrations, after Eder had fired Portugal to their first major honour.

World Cup heroics

The 2018 World Cup may have been an underwhelming one for the European champions as they failed to match their Euro 2016 exploits but for Ronaldo it was a competition filled with landmark moments.

He scored 14 goals in qualifying, a record for a European player, which took his career tally in World Cup qualifiers to 29 - another record. He made his 150th appearance for his country in a World Cup warm-up and was off to a fast start in Russia with a dramatic, brilliant hat-trick against Spain that was sealed with a spectacular free-kick.

His winner against Morocco also took him past Ferenc Puskas as the top-scoring European in international football.

Watch the Ronaldo documentary at 8pm on Sunday on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event.

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