Cristiano Ronaldo hit footballing stardom in 2003 when he joined Manchester United. However he eventually left for his boyhood dream club Real Madrid in 2009 after a successful six year stint at Old Trafford.
Widely regarded as the second-best player in the world by many and best player in the world to some, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the finest players to ever grace football’s greenest grass’.
Here we look back at Cristiano Ronaldo's already illustrious club career so far and compare his output for both Manchester United and Real Madrid to see which the club he was most successful at.
First things first, it’s safe to say that Ronaldo is a better player now. His numbers are better and he’s a much more well-rounded now than when he was at Manchester United. He arrived at Old Trafford a raw talent and they turned him into the player that was then worth £80 million.
In four seasons Ronaldo proved that Real Madrid’s money to be well spent. He's been prolific in La Liga and in Europe for Madrid playing a major role in their successive quest of beating a brilliant Barcelona team to claim the Spanish title in 2012.
Ronaldo is the main player at Real Madrid, the go to man and the one they rely on in the big games. His goal scoring exploits speak for themselves. He’s scored 200 goals in 198 games for Madrid, a considerable higher rate than when he was at Manchester United.
In addition his assist numbers have increased since joining Real Madrid and his influence in games is much greater now than when at Manchester United.
However in terms of trophy success Ronaldo enjoyed his best days at Old Trafford. He won a Champions League with Manchester United back in 2008 forming a footballing romance with Wayne Rooney, something we’re yet to see from him at Real Madrid.
Ronaldo also won three Premier League titles in his final three years at the club compared to just the one La Liga title in Spain.
People will argue that’s because Ronaldo had to face one of the toughest tasks in world football, playing against arguably one of the greatest clubs sides of the modern era and rightly so.
Hypothetically Ronaldo probably would of won more titles had Barcelona and Messi not been in the same era but that’s the harsh reality of football, and because of it Ronaldo’s been left in a shadow of Barcelona’s brilliance.
When you look at the pinnacle of success in domestic football it has to be the Champions league.
So in a way that levels the playing field because in La Liga, yes he has Barcelona but in the Champions the recognition of success is much higher because his talents are up against Europe’s finest opponents.
Ronaldo only ever achieved one Champions League title and that was back in 2008 with Manchester United. In the same year the Portuguese won footballs most prestigious individual award, the Ballon D’or, again something he’s yet to achieve with Real Madrid. He was simply unstoppable during that period and was without doubt the best player on the footballing planet. Since then Ronaldo has been overshadowed by the emergence of bitter rival Lionel Messi, who has since won the award in four consecutive years.
As a player their no doubt Ronaldo is a better player now than seven years ago but I think it’s most likely he enjoyed his time at Manchester United. He was more successful winning prestigious accolades and grew in the hearts of many of the United faithful.
He is yet to create that same aura and success at Real Madrid and until he does it’s hard to see how he can be more successful now than his time at Manchester United.
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