Name: Cristiano Ronaldo
Club: Real Madrid
International Caps: 82
Cristiano Ronaldo has earned the title of the world's No. 1 winger. The 2008 Ballon d'Or winner had a sensational 2010–11 campaign with Real Madrid, scoring 53 goals in all competitions and a record-breaking 40 goals in La Liga.
Last season Ronaldo became the first player to win the European Golden Shoe in two different championships, as a Manchester United player in the English Premier League and as a Madrid player in La Liga. Arguably the best footballer in the world, he has been a star performer in both England and Spain.
The Portuguese national team captain has developed into the most complete attacking player in football. Ronaldo is an exceptionally talented and gifted individual, combining world-class technical skill with great pace and athleticism. The Madrid No. 7 is an explosive player on the ball and a dynamic threat in the final third.
Ronaldo's dribbling ability and skill distinguishes him as an elite winger. With his mesmerizing footwork and countless stepovers, the Portuguese star strikes fear in opposing fullbacks. Ronaldo has the ability to beat defenders off the dribble, using his trickery and change of pace to create goalscoring opportunities in the final third.
The Madrid star is one of the most athletic attackers in the world. He has the speed, strength, and skill to cause problems for defenders. From his left-wing position, Ronaldo will cut inside on his stronger right foot or race to the byline. He can side-step challenges with his impressive close control and use a quick feint to manufacture space for a shot or cross.
Although he has blistering pace, Ronaldo boasts outstanding technical ability as well. Comfortable playing with both feet, the Portuguese winger is a dynamic attacker. He can provide quality delivery into the box and test opposition keepers with his weaker left foot. Ronaldo's technique with both feet makes him less predictable when isolated in one-on-one situations. He can pick out teammates on the penalty spot with his left or cut inside onto his favored right foot and strike on goal.
Ronaldo's natural goalscoring ability sets him apart from other world-class wingers. With his great shooting technique, the Madrid star can score breathtaking goals from distance. Ronaldo strikes with precision, power, and swerve, making it difficult for keepers to make a clean catch. Given the slightest time and space on the ball, the Portuguese winger will find the back of the net.
In addition to his shooting from open play, the Madrid No. 7 has become one of the most lethal dead-ball specialists in football. Ronaldo's unique technique gets unmatched swerve and dip on his free-kicks.
Although he can score spectacular goals from dead-ball situations, Ronaldo is a serious aerial threat as well. He has an explosive leap, rising above the majority of opposing players when attacking corner kicks. Timing his jumps well, the Portuguese captain has the ability to climb above defenders and score with forceful headers.
After a sensational career at Manchester United, Ronaldo has enjoyed similar success with 9-time European champions Real Madrid. The Portuguese winger is unquestionably one of the best players in world football.
Although Robben was a serious contender for the No. 1 ranking, Ronaldo emerged as the top winger.
The Portuguese captain has been in unbelievable form over the past few years, breaking club and La Liga goalscoring records. Through his first two seasons at Madrid, the winger has lived up to his world-record £80 million transfer fee. Ronaldo claims the top spot with his athleticism, pace, aerial prowess, technique, dribbling skill, and goalscoring ability.
When fit, Robben could be more electric and explosive in possession, but the Madrid winger has developed into the more complete attacking player. His ability to pass and shoot with both feet makes him more dynamic and unpredictable in the final third. Ronaldo also climbs above the Munich star with his ability to score from dead-ball situations.
Ribéry has the skill and pace to challenge for a higher spot. However, the Portuguese international edges out the French winger with his natural goalscoring ability, aerial prowess, and athleticism.
At 26 years of age, Ronaldo is in the prime years of his footballing career. He has consistently delivered world-class performances since moving to Madrid in 2009, solidifying his place amongst the best players in football.
Nani, Pedro, Ribéry, and Robben will continue to challenge for the top spot, but Ronaldo is undoubtedly the No. 1 winger in the world.