Ranking Cristiano Ronaldo's Greatest Champions League Moments so Far

Jerrad Peters@@jerradpetersWorld Football Staff WriterMay 30, 2014

Ranking Cristiano Ronaldo's Greatest Champions League Moments so Far

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored 17 Champions League goals in 2013-14—setting a new record for tallies in a single running of Europe’s most prestigious club competition.

    The 29-year-old has found the back of the net on at least 10 occasions in each of his last three Champions League campaigns, and his career total from 51 matches in the tournament is an astonishing 52 goals.

    He has also won the trophy twice—in 2008 with Manchester United and just last week with Real Madrid.

    The following slides are his greatest individual moments in the Champions League. 

6. Goal vs. Sporting Lisbon, September 2007

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    Ronaldo’s 2007-08 season was his best at Manchester United, and he ended it with 42 goals in all competitions, the Premier League title and the European Cup.

    The first goal of his Champions League campaign, in which he scored eight times, came in September against childhood club Sporting Lisbon. Needless to say, it was an emotional moment for the attacker, and he refused to celebrate the goal. 

5. Goal vs. AS Roma, April 2008

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    Manchester United returned to Rome’s Stadio Olimpico during their run to the 2007-08 Champions League title.

    They had lost 2-1 at the ground the year before, where many of their supporters were charged by police.

    On this occasion, however, the Red Devils kept the Giallorossi at bay. Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 39th minute of the quarter-final first leg. United went on to win 2-0. 

4. Goal vs. Atletico Madrid, May 2014

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    Sure, his goal against Atletico Madrid in the 2014 Champions League final came from the penalty spot.

    Yes, the score was already 3-1 in Real Madrid’s favour.

    However, scoring in a major European final is a rare achievement, and Ronaldo’s successful conversion gave him two goals on club football’s biggest stage. 

3. Brace vs. Bayern Munich, April 2014

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    At the semi-final stage in 2011-12, Bayern Munich beat Real Madrid on penalties at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

    Madrid got their revenge two years later, trouncing their Bundesliga opponents 5-0 on aggregate.

    Ronaldo scored twice in the crucial second leg—turning Gareth Bale’s excellent pass into a goal in the 34th minute for his 15th of the competition, adding another in the final minute of normal time. 

2. Goal vs. Chelsea, May 2008

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    Ronaldo scored his first Champions League final goal in May 2008—nodding Wes Brown’s cross from the right past Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in Moscow.

    It was the only goal Manchester United would score from open play that night, and while Ronaldo would miss from the spot later on, the Red Devils would go on to win on penalties. 

1. Brace vs. Arsenal, May 2009

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    Ronaldo’s most dominant performance in the Champions League came against Arsenal in May 2009.

    Manchester United won the first leg of their all-Premier League semi-final against the Gunners thanks to a John O’Shea goal at Old Trafford. However, in the return leg at the Emirates Stadium, it was all Ronaldo.

    After just eight minutes, he assisted Park Ji-Sung’s opener. Three minutes later, he struck a spectacular, 40-yard free-kick that left the hosts needing four goals to win the tie.

    Shortly after the hour, he capped a memorable night by completing his brace.