New series on the side of 90min FR. We hear a word all the time getting into the discussions of football fans. “When he was at his prime…”. So we decided to go up the stream to its source. We invite you to discover or rediscover the most prosperous period of a football star. Let’s start right away with the cream of the crop, Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid obviously had a good formation. Big names like Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema or Raphaël Varane. A workforce focused on the talent of Cristiano Ronaldo. Since his departure, the Portuguese international has not found teammates cut out to play titles like them.
It was already and it is even more today the most successful club in the Champions League: 13 trophies. Suffice to say, that CR7 was evolving in an idyllic setting to perform. With such singular qualities, Ronaldo could only present himself under the best auspices.
Between 2014 and 2018, Cristiano Ronaldo presented phenomenal figures. Almost unheard of. We are on a striker capable of doing everything: passing, scoring from all surfaces, taking penalties and even free kicks. A sometimes arrogant superstar who justified his status in the green rectangle. He collected more than 50% of the goals and was involved in almost 72% of his team’s achievements.
No artificer has managed to do better than his 2014-2015 season in the history of Real Madrid: 61 goals (historic record) and 23 assists in 54 games. A historic exercise that the Madrid striker has never reproduced before or after. Note that these four seasons mark the most prolific era of the Quintuple Ballon D’Or.
61 goals and 23 assists in 2014-15 (Real Madrid historic record)
51 goals and 15 assists in 2015-16
42 goals and 21 assists in 2016-17
44 goals and 8 assists in 2017-18
Obviously, this bagatelle of crazy performances offers Real Madrid a bagatelle… of trophies. In all, eight cups brought to his Iberian club including a legendary hat-trick in the queen competition of the Old Continent.
Cristiano Ronaldo can also boast of having largely participated in the coronation of his country at Euro 2016. The first title in the history of Portugal with a certain “CR7” as captain. Despite his injury in the final against France, his team won in extra time (1-0).
Champions League : 2016, 2017 and 2018
Spanish Super Cup: 2017
European Supercup : 2017
Club World Cup: 2016 and 2017
Euro 2016 (voted 2nd best player of the tournament)
The rivalry with Lionel Messi had clearly turned to Cristiano Ronaldo’s advantage during these years. At its prime, it was hard to top such a genius in awards. Absolutely every laurel was on the Portuguese international’s head. Rightly so, he was walking on water. Here are the majority of his individual accomplishments.
The best rewards:
International Sportsman of the Year 2014
Ballon D’Or 2014, 2016 and 2017
The Best 2016 and 2017
UEFA Best Striker of the Year 2016-17 and 2017-18
Only player in history to score at least one goal in all 6 UEFA Champions League group stage games: 2017-2018.
Became the top scorer in the history of Real Madrid with 450 goals in 438 games.
Quinas de Oro: 2016 and 2017
David Bettoni (assistant to Zinedine Zidane) : “Against Wolfsburg, we lost 2-0 in the first leg. The day before the return match, Cristiano Ronaldo said to me without pressure: ‘tomorrow, I score 3 goals’. And that’s what he did. I’ve always remembered that from him.”
Zinedine Zidane : “He has played his entire career in this position (on the side). And of course, he will continue to score from this position. He is a phenomenon, he can play in other positions, but it is his natural position and it is from there that he has scored more than 400 goals. No one is doing better right now. “
Cristiano Ronaldo: “I don’t see anyone better than me. No footballer does things that I can’t do myself. There is no player more complete than me. People have the right to prefer Neymar or Messi. But I insist: there is no one more complete than me. (…) You will say that I have the boulard… But, when you are at the top, it is normal that you are criticized. (…) I am the best player in history, in good times and in bad times.”
In addition, what creates a player’s bonus are also legendary achievements. Cristiano Ronaldo collected them almost every week with Real Madrid. The anecdote of David Bettoni is a perfect example. Thanks to the crazy hat-trick of the left winger, the Meringue came back from a two-goal deficit at the Bernabeu.
A pinnacle is also that feeling that no matter what, Ronaldo can save you. In any situation, you can count on him.
His finest feats of arms:
Comeback against Wolfsburg thanks to a hat-trick on April 13, 2016
Injured, Ronaldo became an assistant to Fernando Santos in the Euro 2016 final with instructions for these teammates.
16 goals scored in the Champions League in 12 games during the 2015-2016 season (his record is 17 in 2013-2014)
Quadruple and an assist on 08/12/15 against Malmö in the Champions League (unheard of in C1)
Quintupled in La Liga on 5/04/2015 against Granada
Fivefold and an assist against Espanyol on 09/12/15
45 goals and 15 assists in La Liga in 2014-2015, a record for Real Madrid
Returned the highest in history against Gianluigi Buffon in Italy against Juventus Turin on April 3, 2018 in the Champions League semi-final
Over the same period, only one person rivaled Cristiano Ronaldo: Lionel Messi. The two UFOs pulled the plug every week in La Liga. Around, a Luis Suarez managed to surpass him by playing many more competitions in the 2015-2016 season. And again, it’s kiff-kiff with a few more goals and assists.
Robert Lewandowski was not playing for the European title with Bayern Munich and was a step below. The Polish international only equalized CR7 in the 2017-2018 season. Otherwise, the Bavarian striker was less decisive especially in the matches that matter. The Pulga was therefore the only player in the same rank as Ronaldo during his prime. A duel that unleashed social networks like experts for more than four seasons. The good old times…