2016 Ronaldo’s Magic Year


Goals: 35 (34 for club; one for country)
Games: 58 (50 for club; eight for country)

This was the year then-Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo really emerged as a true world-class talent — with 35 goals in 58 games in all competitions for club and country.

Ronaldo turned 23 early in 2008 and went on to a clean sweep of the young and senior PFA and FWA Player of the Year prizes in England, win a first Golden Shoe as Europe’s top scorer for 2007-08 and then take his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

There were goals in the round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinal and final as United won the Champions League [although he missed a penalty in the decisive shootout against Chelsea]. There were also persistent rumours about a move to Real Madrid, although that transfer was postponed for 12 months.


Goals: 30 (29 for club; one for country)
Games: 49 (42 for club; seven for country)

Ronaldo began 2009 by again scoring in each of the Champions League knockout rounds, before being frustrated as United were beaten in the final by Lionel Messi’s Barcelona. He did however win a third straight Premier League title before joining Madrid in a world record £80 million transfer.

On arrival at the Bernabeu, he became the first player to score in each of his first four games for Los Blancos, but injuries and some issues settling in Spain meant that he finished 2009 with *just* 30 goals in 49 games across all competitions. And he was *just* second in the year’s Ballon d’Or vote behind Messi.

So far in 2016, Ronaldo has scored 51 goals in 54 games and won the Champions League and Euro 2016.


Goals: 48 (45 for club; three for country)
Games: 59 (48 for club; 11 for country)

Ronaldo’s first season in Spain ended without a trophy, but he was boosted by fellow countryman Jose Mourinho arriving as coach at the Bernabeu. In October he scored four times in a game for the first time, against Racing, as he accelerated towards a final total of 48 goals in 59 games over the calendar year — 45 for Madrid and three for Portugal.

Yet there was also disappointment at the World Cup in South Africa, where Portugal lost out to eventual winners Spain in the round of 16 — and Ronaldo was pushed off the Ballon d’Or podium as Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta were recognised alongside clubmate Messi.


Goals: 60 (53 for club; seven for country)
Games: 60 (52 for club; eight for country)
Shots: 300 (121 on goal; 16.0 percent accuracy)
Assists: 15
Chances: 78 (1.8 per game)

2011 saw Ronaldo ramp up his goal scoring for both club and country, reaching the 60-goal mark for the first time in his career — including 53 in 52 Real Madrid games and seven in eight for Portugal.

Personally, he won both a first La Liga Pichichi prize and a second European Golden Shoe (his first had been with Manchester United) — and, at the age of 26, he became the first player ever to score 40 times in a Spanish top flight season.


Goals: 63 (58 for club; five for country)
Games: 71 (58 for club; 13 for country)
Shots: 366 (154 on goal; 14.5 percent accuracy)
Assists: 11
Chances: 91 (1.8 per game)

The next year saw Ronaldo score 63 goals, 58 for Madrid and five for Portugal, in a total of 71 games — the most matches he has managed in one season.

That May brought success for Jose Mourinho’s Madrid team in La Liga, the only Spanish title Ronaldo has yet won, although nemesis Lionel Messi nabbed the Pichichi and Ballon d’Or awards again as the Argentine somehow managed an incredible 91 goals all season.

Looking just at La Liga and the Champions League — 2012 was the year in which Ronaldo took most shots [366] and had the most chances [91]. Although he was also relatively wayward as just 14.5 percent of his shots hit the net.


Goals: 69 (59 for club; 10 for country)
Games: 59 (50 for club; nine for country)
Shots: 313 (134 on goal; 16.9 percent accuracy)
Assists: 13
Chances: 75 (1.7 per game)

While the first half of 2013 saw Ronaldo finish as the Champions League top scorer for a second time, it was not a happy time at the Bernabeu due to Mourinho leaving as coach in May.

Things turned around under new coach Carlo Ancelotti, and Ronaldo ended the year in probably the best form of his entire career — including a wonderful hat trick in the 2014 World Cup playoff against Sweden — earning his second Ballon d’Or trophy. He finished with a total of 69 goals in 60 appearances for club and country, his highest year-end goal tally, and appeared to be scoring more goals from fewer attempts.

Ronaldo won the 2014 Ballon d’Or, the third time he has claimed the award


Goals: 61 (56 for club; five for country)
Games: 60 (51 for club; nine for country)
Shots 266 (138 on goal; 19.2 percent accuracy)
Assists: 16
Chances: 80 (2.0 per game)

Madrid reached their holy grail of La Decima and a 10th European Cup win, with Ronaldo famously removing his jersey after scoring a late penalty in a 4-1 extra-time win over Atletico. He also set a new record of 17 goals in one Champions League season.

His total goals over this 12-month period were 61 — 56 in 51 games for Madrid and five in nine for Portugal — with the total slightly down from the previous year. But 2014 saw his highest ever chances per game (2.0) across La Liga and the UCL as well as most shots on target (138) and a career best conversion rate (19.2 percent).

Injury hampered his contribution — especially during Portugal’s early World Cup exit as they failed to advance from Group G — but when he was fit, this was peak Ronaldo. The stats certainly show how he earned his third Ballon d’Or prize.


Goals: 57 (54 for club; three for country)
Games: 57 (52 for club; five for country)
Shots: 329 (127 on goal; 16.1 percent accuracy)
Assists: 17
Chances: 79 (1.6 per game)

It was an up-and-down year for Ronaldo, with Madrid failing to win any trophies. But he finished as joint-top scorer in the Champions League (alongside Messi and Neymar with 10) and won both the 2014-15 La Liga Pichichi and European Golden Shoe trophies.

By December, he made it to 57 goals for club and country over 57 games — 54 in 52 for Madrid, and three in five for Portugal. Looking at the stats for La Liga and the Champions League, after turning 30, he was again taking more shots than the previous year (329 in total) but his conversation rate had fallen to 16.1 percent.

2015 also saw some barren spells followed by gluts — with five-goal hauls against both Granada and Espanyol, but by the autumn he had overtaken Raul Gonzalez to become Madrid’s all-time leading goal scorer. Raul had scored 323 in 741 games; Ronaldo managed 324 in just 310.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the winner of the 2016 Ballon d’Or, the fourth time he has received the award.


Goals: 51 (38 for club; 13 for country)
Games: 54 (41 for club; 13 for country)
Shots: 258 (108 on goal; 14.7 percent accuracy)
Assists: 14
Chances: 59 (1.4 per game)

In early November, Ronaldo signed his new long-term deal at Madrid and proclaimed it to be his best year. In terms of team trophies, it most certainly has been — with Madrid winning the Champions League and Portugal stunning even themselves by winning Euro 2016.

This has also been Ronaldo’s best scoring year for Portugal — as he netted 13 times in 13 games for his country. But across La Liga and the Champions League, this has been his lowest scoring year since 2008. Injury has been a factor in this — his 38 La Liga and UCL goals have come in just 41 club games — but perhaps more worrying as he nears 32 years of age is that he is also getting the lowest tally for chances per game (1.4).

*Stats compiled by ESPN Stats & Info and Dermot Corrigan (ESPN)


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