Cristiano Ronaldo's Best Tricks and Flicks Compilation
Like a fine Madeira wine, Cristiano Ronaldo has only gotten better with age, and the vast arsenal of flicks, tricks and other weapons in his collection has only grown in tandem.
Where once there was a Sporting Lisbon academy graduate with the potential for amazing but inconsistent pieces of sheer brilliance, he now stands as a veritable game-winner who is ever able to conjure something out of nothing.
This week saw Real Madrid move past Borussia Dortmund and into the semi-finals of this season's Champions League, and Ronaldo was once again at the forefront of that effort thanks to the power that simmers within his prized feet.
Celebrating the forward's genius, here we've compiled some of those best tricks and skills he's produced, and while those terms may be opened up to a broader interpretation, it's the art of dribbling and moving past one's opponent that takes precedence.
10. Easy Does It vs. Getafe
In a 4-1 victory over Getafe earlier this La Liga season, Ronaldo had a heavy influence in each and every goal that was scored by Los Merengues, but this was the pick of the bunch.
Sami Khedira's low, bombed cross is slightly behind the Portuguese superstar—a ball that would have left most players with their back to goal and in an awkward position.
However, with agility being one of his stellar attributes, Ronaldo has the guile to try the audacious, turning the ball past Miguel Angel Moya, complete with 360-degree spin.
9. More Than Just a Dribbling Machine
Of course, a huge part of being a superstar of Ronaldo's level is that one's skill set has to be more rounded than that of others, and he showed against Holland at Euro 2012 that the ball need not always be put on a plate for him.
And that's because he is more than happy to take the bull by the horns, turning a negative situation into a positive one all by himself.
Here, Gregory van der Wiel is the poor full-back who is left trailing in Ronaldo's dust. Van der Wiel didn't comprehend that his opposite man would be capable of such a majestic first touch before proceeding to bomb down his flank.
8. Close Your Legs, Sergio
Playground rules dictate that a skill only counts if you can collect the ball after performing said skill, and Ronaldo couldn't have flicked his way through Sergio Busquets into any more of an open expanse if he had tried.
Here, the Barcelona anchor can't help but feel ashamed, as Ronaldo splits his legs like the Red Sea and proceeds to bear down upon La Blaugrana's defence as if it was nothing more than a stroll down the shops.
Granted, Barca would win this April 2010 encounter 2-0, but Real's man got his dig in at least.
7. Ronaldo Does Things Direct
Ronaldo lives his life at 100 miles per hour both on the pitch and off it, so it's no surprise that the most direct route possible is often the one that applies best to him with the ball at his feet.
Upon clashing with Juventus for the first time in his career earlier this season, the Portuguese took no time in getting acquainted with the Bianconeri, showing them precisely who the boss is.
On this occasion, Arturo Vidal, Kwadwo Asamoah and Andrea Barzagli were the names being shown up slightly—and all just from one dribble.
6. Where It All Began
Due to the fact that he's become so much more proficient in his trade since moving to the Bernabeu, there isn't a lot of footage from Ronaldo's Manchester United days on this list.
However, an infamous snapshot that does squeak its way in came against Arsenal during the 2007/08 season, when Bacary Sagna was tasked with dealing with the attacker's influence.
Erratic, unpredictable and everything else that made Ronaldo such a hypnotic figure to watch during his early years, this particularly quick piece of footwork may not get him far, but it's nonetheless astounding to see.
5. You Can Do It, Put Your Back into It
Perhaps one of the most amicable traits in any freestyle artist is the ability to move and adapt to the situation, moulding to the scenario and adjusting as necessary.
In February 2011, Ronaldo showed that he possesses just this kind of malleability in abundance, confidently taking a ball on his back with the same dexterity that most players wish they had in their favoured foot.
The result is a strange and obscure brand of magic.
4. Use Your Head
As anyone who grew up using jumpers for goal posts will tell you, the best pieces of skill often come from moments of complete coincidence, but we roll with them nonetheless.
And one can't help but feel as though that was Ronaldo's reaction to the goal he scored against North Korea at the 2010 World Cup, as it seems even he wouldn't be capable of conjuring up such wizardry on purpose.
That being said, if this is the end product, we hope Ronaldo sees as much good luck fired his way as is possible.
3. Steven Davis Left in the Dust
You can't blame Northern Ireland's Steven Davis for trying, but one can't help but feel as though Ronaldo could have perhaps eased up on the poor midfielder during their 2014 World Cup qualifier last September.
That's not to say we're unhappy to see such feats of football flair, but on this occasion, Davis gets tangled up in an awful twist, unable to decide whether it's the ball or one of Ronaldo's five feet that he should be concentrating on.
2. Hamit Altintop Feels the Force of the Elastico
The Elastico is perhaps one of the fondest weapons within Ronaldo's arsenal; it was popularised by others before him, but arguably no one performs it better than him.
Here, he hands a lesson to Turkey's Hamit Altintop who, like a crash-test dummy, falls for the move hook, line and sinker, shifting in whatever direction Ronaldo wants only to see the ball glide between his legs.
There may have been little on the line, but Ronaldo showed that there was nothing friendly about this encounter.
1. If You Can't Go Under, Go Over
Again, that knack for finding open avenues where other routes might be closed off was in full view during last season's Spanish Supercup meetings against Barcelona.
Gerard Pique was unfortunate enough to be the man who was left looking sheepish after his opponent smoothly notched the ball over his head when, in truth, the Spanish defender should have been poised to cut off the initial pass.
Not only that, but Ronaldo recovers from a short slip-up and somehow, from a static position, manages to pelt the ball through Victor Valdes and into the back of the net.
Seven seconds of sheer attacking quality.