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How Cristiano Ronaldo has rewritten most of the Champions League records

Most goals, most assists, most penalties, most free-kicks, most goals in the knockout rounds… how Cristiano Ronaldo has rewritten most of the Champions League records

  • Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning hat-trick as Juventus beat Atletico Madrid
  • The five-time Champions League winner continues to set new standards
  • Ronaldo is comfortably the competition’s leading scorer with 124 goals 
  • He has now equalled Lionel Messi’s record of eight competition hat-tricks
  • Ronaldo also has the most assists, most penalties and most free-kicks 

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to take great pleasure in rewriting the record books and the Champions League has become his own personal stage.

His stunning hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night inspired Juventus to an improbable comeback from two goals down after the first leg to a 3-2 aggregate triumph.

It underlined precisely why Juventus, who have not won the Champions League since 1996, paid Real Madrid £100million to sign Ronaldo last summer.

And even at the age of 34, the Portuguese star’s powers show little sign of diminishing as he pursues yet another Champions League medal for his collection.

We take a closer look at some of the records Ronaldo holds in the competition.

It was another staggering night for Cristiano Ronaldo as his hat-trick guided Juventus back from two goals down in their Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid

  • Ronaldo has won the Champions League five times – with Manchester United in 2008 and with Real Madrid in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. If he wins it for a sixth time, he will equal the record six titles achieved by Real Madrid’s Francisco Gento during the early years of the European Cup (1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1966). At the moment he is tied on five wins with AC Milan legends Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini, and seven other Real players who won the competition five times in a row following its inception in 1955-56.
Cristiano marks his fifth Champions League crown as Real Madrid beat Liverpool last year

Cristiano marks his fifth Champions League crown as Real Madrid beat Liverpool last year

  • He has now scored 124 goals in the Champions League proper for United, Real Madrid and Juventus. This puts him head and shoulders above Lionel Messi on 106 goals. Ronaldo’s goal tally is 125 if you include the one he scored for United against Debrecen in the qualifying round in 2005-06. Given the competition’s vast expansion since rebranding as the Champions League in 1992, Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in European competitions by some way. The Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano scored 49 European Cup goals but Ronaldo scored 105 in Europe for the club.
Ronaldo's first European goal came for Manchester United against Debrecen in 2005

Ronaldo’s first European goal came for Manchester United against Debrecen in 2005

His first goal in the competition proper was for United in their 7-1 thrashing of Roma in 2007

His first goal in the competition proper was for United in their 7-1 thrashing of Roma in 2007

  • In total, Ronaldo has 127 goals in European club competitions. As well as the 125 in the Champions League, he scored twice in Real’s win over Sevilla in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup.
  • Ronaldo’s hat-trick on Tuesday night was his eighth in the competition, which is the joint-most with Messi. 
Ronaldo celebrates completing his eighth Champions League hat-trick on Tuesday night

Ronaldo celebrates completing his eighth Champions League hat-trick on Tuesday night

  • It is testament to Ronaldo’s fearlessness in the biggest games that he now has 63 goals in 77 appearances in the Champions League knockout stages. When you factor in his 14 assists from the last-16 stage onwards, he has been directly involved in 77 goals in 77 matches. Messi has 40 goals in the knockout stages, by comparison. 
  • Atletico think he’s a real pain in the backside. They have now been knocked out of the Champions League by a team containing Cristiano in every season they’ve competed in it since 2013-14. He scored against them in Real’s 4-1 win in the 2014 Champions League final. Real knocked them out in the 2014-15 quarter-finals and beat them on penalties in the 2016 final (with Ronaldo scoring the decisive kick). In 2016-17, Ronaldo scored a first leg hat-trick against them in the semi-finals. Atletico ended up in the Europa League last season but have now returned to the top table and been done by Ronaldo once again.
Ronaldo mimicked the 'cojones' celebration of Atletico boss Diego Simeone after the game

Ronaldo mimicked the ‘cojones’ celebration of Atletico boss Diego Simeone after the game

  • Ronaldo has now scored 25 goals in 31 matches against Atletico for Real and Juventus. Only Sevilla have suffered more at the hands of Ronaldo (27 goals).
  • He has been the leading scorer outright or joint-leading scorer in the Champions League every season since 2012-13. His goal returns run as follows: 12, 17, 10 (joint with Messi and Neymar), 16, 12, 15. 
  • Ronaldo is the only player to score in three Champions League finals (2008, 2014 and 2017) and the only player to score in 11 consecutive appearances in the competition proper – that was between the 2017 final win over Juventus to the 3-1 defeat by Juventus in the second leg of the following season’s quarter-final. However, that stoppage time goal in the Bernabeu proved decisive as it took Real through 4-3 on aggregate. 
Ronaldo celebrates scoring Real Madrid's fourth goal against Atletico in the final of 2014

Ronaldo celebrates scoring Real Madrid’s fourth goal against Atletico in the final of 2014

  • Ronaldo has scored more penalties in the Champions League than any other player. The one on Tuesday night was his 16th scored from 19 taken. Messi is next with 11 scored from 14.
  • He also has the record for the most assists in the Champions League with 44. He moved ahead of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs (42) earlier this season.
  • Ronaldo also has the record for scoring in 12 consecutive away Champions League games between 2012-13 and 2014-15. He scored 17 goals in those matches.
Ronaldo has scored more penalties in the Champions League than any other player in history

Ronaldo has scored more penalties in the Champions League than any other player in history

  • His return of 17 during Real’s victorious 2013-14 season is a record tally for a single campaign. However, he only has four so far this season and has a little way to go to catch current leading scorer Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich on eight and keep that sequence going.
  • However, in the group stages, Messi leads him 66 to 61 in terms of goals. But the 11 goals Ronaldo scored in the 2015-16 group stage is a record for a single season.
  • He has scored two goals or more on 35 different occasions in the Champions League and achieved a four-goal haul in Real’s 8-0 thrashing of Malmo in the group stage in December 2015. However, he has not yet been able to match the five goals in a game achieved by Messi in Barcelona’s 7-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012.
  • Ronaldo holds the record for the most home goals in the Champions League with 68 and also the record for the most away goals (56).
  • He has scored the most direct free-kicks in the competition with 12 (two for Man United and 10 for Real). 
Ronaldo lines up a free-kick during Man United's semi-final win over Arsenal in 2009

Ronaldo lines up a free-kick during Man United’s semi-final win over Arsenal in 2009

 



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