It’s safe to say Real Madrid got its money’s worth when Cristiano Ronaldo was acquired for a former world-record transfer fee back in 2009.
The Portuguese superstar, whose illustrious career in the Spanish capital ended Tuesday with confirmation of his lucrative transfer to Juventus, boosted the reputation he established in England with Manchester United by raising his standard to levels that few will ever come close to eclipsing at Real Madrid.
In under a decade, Ronaldo solidified his place as one of the greatest players to ever put on the famous all-white strip.
Toward the end of his Madrid career, Ronaldo’s goalscoring feats often resulted in the club’s revered scoring records falling, as greats such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Raul, Ferenc Puskas, Carlos Santillana, and Hugo Sanchez made way for another legend who will be remembered fondly for decades to come.
Here are seven of Ronaldo’s records that won’t be broken anytime soon:
Most goals, overall: Ronaldo didn’t just break the team’s all-time scoring record, he shattered it. What Raul accomplished in 16 years at Real Madrid, Ronaldo surpassed in just over five full seasons when he scored his 324th goal in October 2015 to break the legendary’s Spanish striker’s club record. By the end of the 2017-18 campaign, Ronaldo tallied an astounding 451 goals across all competitions.
Most goals scored in one season (all competitions): Despite Real Madrid’s lack of silverware, the 2014-15 campaign was one to remember, at least for Ronaldo. He scored a hat-trick on the final day of the season in a 7-3 win over Getafe to bring his total to 61 goals and best his mark from the 2011-12 season by one tally, ending the campaign with a scoring rate of approximately 1.13 goals per game
Most goals in one La Liga season: Ronaldo wrapped up the 2014-15 La Liga campaign in style by scoring three hat-tricks over the final four matches to finish with 48 goals. The total topped his previous record of 46 set one season prior.
Most Champions League goals: The drop-off on Real Madrid’s all-time Champions League goalscoring list is massive. Ronaldo’s penalty conversion against, of all teams, Juventus in the quarter-finals last season brought him to 105 overall in a Real shirt to put him 39 goals clear of Raul’s former record. Karim Benzema is the closest active player with 44 goals.
Most goals scored in one Champions League season: Ronaldo not only holds the record for goals scored in a single Champions League season, he occupies the top three spots. He came close to matching his record this past season with 15 goals, but the 17 he scored in 2013-14 will likely never be matched by another Madridista.
Most goals scored in one Champions League group stage: Ronaldo banged in four goals against Malmo in 2015 to set the mark for goals in the Champions League group stage. He became the first player to reach double figures before ending the opening phase of the tournament, with 11 goals in six matches.
Most career La Liga hat-tricks: It’s no secret that Ronaldo has a tendency to score in bunches. The evidence lies in his club record for domestic hat-tricks, as Ronaldo’s 34 games with at least three goals are 12 more than Di Stefano managed to record during his storied career.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)