Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked 12th in 90min’s European Player of the Year series.
By his unbelievably, astronomically, stupendously high standards, Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t had a great year. By anybody else’s, he’s still been pretty amazing.
Arguably the best player to have ever walked the planet (very arguably), Ronaldo has once again proven why he is adored by millions, and why he has forever written his name in to football folklore.
What is perhaps most incredible about his 2019 is the success he has had with both club and country. Juventus and Portugal have shared Ronaldo’s spoils, seeing him lift silverware and score a mass of stunning goals.
At 34 years of age, you would be forgiven for thinking Ronaldo would have slowed down by now, maybe even just lost an inch or a yard. But, he hasn’t. The attacker is still as dynamic, graceful and gifted as ever, with no signs of him stopping any time soon.
What more can we say really? Nothing. So let’s just take a look at some of his best moment of 2019.
That Hat-trick Against Atletico Madrid (12/03/19)
Juventus found themselves in a perilous position heading in to the last 16 second leg against Atletico Madrid. The Old Lady were 2-0 down from the first leg and faced the worrying prospect of dropping out of Europe’s elite competition. Up steps Ronaldo.
Signed by Juventus for these very moments, Ronaldo took the game by the scruff of the neck, scoring twice in the opening 49 minutes of a crucial clash with Diego Simeone’s stubborn defensive unit. But two wasn’t enough for him. When Juve were awarded an 86th-minute penalty, who else would you want from 12 yards?
Ronaldo made no mistake, powering home his spot kick and lighting up the Allianz Arena. While Juventus went on to exit the competition to underdogs Ajax in the quarter-final, it remains a moment that will live long in Champions League history.
Completing a European Treble (19/04/19)
Another record was smashed by Ronaldo back in April as he lifted his first Serie A title.
After a 2-1 victory over Fiorentina, the Old Lady lifted their eighth successive Italian title and in doing so it meant that Ronaldo had now won Serie A, the Premier League and La Liga. This means the forward is the only player in football history to win that treble of trophies.
Ronaldo’s European dominance appears to know no bounds and, with the Portugese attacker still in full swing, he could add Ligue 1 or the Bundesliga to that list if he really wanted.
The UEFA Nations League Triumph (09/06/19)
While the jury remains out on the success of the UEFA Nations League, it certainly proved successful for one man. Ronaldo spearheaded Portugal’s Nations League triumph, including a hat-trick in their 3-1 semi-final win over Switzerland.
But the real moment of joy came in the final where Portugal’s captain lifted another European trophy, adding to the nation’s Euro 2016 success. A narrow 1-0 victory over the Netherlands was enough to get Ronaldo’s hands on another international piece of silverware. Something he still holds over Lionel Messi…
Naturally, when Portugal succeed it is in large part due to their talisman and the Nations League proved to be no different.
700th Career Goal (14/10/19)
Back in October, Ronaldo scored his 700th career goal for club and country. 700th.
In a 2-1 defeat to Ukraine, Ronaldo’s penalty brought his incredible tally to 700 goals in 974 senior career appearances. A milestone which is shared by only five other players including Pele, Gerd Muller and Romario…quite esteemed company.
He has since scored a fair few more, but few as sweet. A glorious moment in a stupidly good career and another sign of just how unstoppable Ronaldo truly is.
Scoring His 99th International Goal (17/11/19)
An 86th-minute goal in a 2-0 victory over Luxembourg is hardly something to write home about. But, for Ronaldo, it brings him within one goal of an international century – a feat that has only been managed by one player, Ali Daei, in the past.
It means when, not if, his next Portugal arrives, Ronaldo will become the first European to score 100 international goals.
His Euro 2020 qualification campaign was nothing short of remarkable, scoring 11 goals in just eight matches including a four-goal haul against Lithuania.
Ali Daei currently sits on 109 goals for Iran, but he will be looking over his shoulder now…