Looking Back at Cristiano Ronaldo's 5 Record-Breaking Seasons at Real Madrid
In light of Lionel Messi's startling propensity to break records, it's easy to forget Cristiano Ronaldo has quite a few under his belt too.
According to messivsronaldo.net, the Portuguese star was the first player to score against every team in La Liga, the first to score in six consecutive Clasicos and the fastest La Liga player to reach 150 goals.
With his goal at Malaga over the weekend, Ronaldo also became the first La Liga player to score 25 or more goals in five consecutive seasons.
In light of this new statistic, here's a look back at the highlights of his five years in a Real Madrid shirt.
Goals: 33 (26 in La Liga; 7 in Champions League)
Upon his arrival in Madrid, Ronaldo had the expectation of €94 million hanging over him. Whereas players such as Fernando Torres have failed to deliver on such expectations, Ronaldo thrived in his first season.
He scored on his La Liga debut against Deportivo La Coruna and scored two free kicks on his Champions League debut for the club at FC Zurich. When he scored against Villarreal on September 23, he became the first player in La Liga history to score in his first four games.
Ronaldo finished the 2009-10 season as Los Blancos' top scorer in all competitions, although his tally of 33 goals in all competitions wasn't quite as spectacular as the 48 he had managed for Manchester United the previous season.
Goals: 53 (40 in La Liga; 6 in Champions League; 7 in King's Cup)
Ronaldo inherited Raul's No. 7 shirt in 2010-11 but didn't manage to score in it until his fourth match of the season against Espanyol.
However, he soon found his shooting boots and managed to score 11 goals during six games in October, including a 6-1 victory over Racing Santander in which he scored four. In this season, Ronaldo scored three or more goals in an incredible seven matches.
His winning goal in the 103rd minute of the 2011 Copa del Rey final put him on 42 goals in all competitions, equaling his personal best from 2007-08. A Marca poll also found it to be the best goal of the season.
Ronaldo's brace on the last day of the campaign brought his league tally to 40, making him the first player in La Liga ever to score that many goals in a single season. He won his second career European Golden Shoe for his efforts and finished the season having scored a goal every 70.7 minutes.
Goals: 60 (46 in La Liga; 10 in Champions League; 3 in King's Cup; 1 in Spanish Super Cup)
It was hard to imagine Cristiano could top his prolific 2010-11 season, but he surpassed his own high standards the following season.
On the opening day, he scored his first of six 2011-12 hat-tricks in a 6-0 victory over Real Zaragoza. When he netted a brace against Real Sociedad in March, he reached the milestone of 100 La Liga goals in only three seasons. It had taken him 92 matches, which is 13 less than Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskas.
His hat-trick in the Madrid derby in April put his league tally on 40 goals, making him the first player ever to reach this tally in two seasons, let alone consecutive seasons. With his goal against Mallorca on the final day, he became the first player ever to score against every La Liga team in a single season.
Ronaldo had helped Real Madrid to a spectacular winning season and declared he thought he had played better than Leo Messi, even though the diminutive Argentinean had managed an astounding 50 La Liga goals in the same campaign.
Goals: 55 (34 in La Liga; 12 in Champions League; 7 in King's Cup; 2 in Spanish Super Cup)
Ronaldo kicked off the season by scoring in both legs of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona, becoming the second Real Madrid player to score in five consecutive Clasico matches (the other was Ivan Zamorano).
His brace in September's 3-0 win over Grenada represented two milestones: The first goal was his 200th career league goal in Europe and the second was his 150th for Real Madrid in all competitions. His refusal to celebrate these goals led to the furore over his unexplained "sadness."
In a 4-0 win over Getafe in January, Ronaldo scored a perfect hat-trick (left foot, right foot and header), passing the landmark of his 300th club goal.
Ronaldo finished the season as Champions League top goalscorer, with his tally of 12 denying Leo Messi the honour for the first time in five seasons.
Goals so far: 39 (25 in La Liga, 11 in Champions League; 3 in King's Cup)
So far this season, Ronaldo has outscored his nemesis Messi by eight goals and is the top goalscorer in La Liga (25) and the Champions League (11).
Ronaldo has already scored five hat-tricks for club and country this season, with his triple-strike against Real Sociedad in November bringing his total La Liga hat-trick tally to 19. This game also marked his 20th direct free-kick goal with the club, which is one more than free-kick specialist Ronaldinho managed at Barcelona (as per AS).
Yet Ronaldo's greatest accomplishment of the season so far is almost certainly the Ballon d'Or he picked up in January. The Portuguese megastar has ceded the award to Messi in his previous four seasons in Spain—his joy at no longer playing second fiddle was clear in his emotional acceptance speech.