Cristiano Ronaldo is football’s record goalscorer.
The Portuguese superstar has rippled the back of the net on 770 occasions for club and country during the course of his career.
For another player to achieve that feat, it would require them to score 55 goals a year for 14 consecutive years.
That’s how bonkers Ronaldo’s record is and his evolution into a footballing cyborg hellbent on firing the ball past a goalkeeper as many times as possible has been amazing to watch.
But while he’s scored at a faster rate over the past 10 years or so, there will never be a more entertaining version of Ronaldo than the one we saw win the Ballon d’Or at Manchester United in 2008.
It was a period where he combined his goalscoring with outrageous displays of dribbling and flair from the left-wing, things that have sadly disappeared from the Juventus man’s game in recent years – which is understandable given that he’s now 36.
His ability to be both an entertainer and a match winner rolled into one at United was never more obvious than in the 2008 Champions League final against bitter rivals Chelsea.
The Red Devils won Europe’s biggest prize on penalties in Moscow and Ronaldo actually missed his spot kick in the shootout.
However, his performance during the 1-1 draw in the 120 minutes of action before his failed effort from 12 yards was iconic.
Ronaldo scored United’s goal with a towering header and terrorised Chelsea’s star-studded lineup with his quick feet.
Michael Essien was forced to play right-back against the Portuguese and he had a torrid time in the Russian capital, as you can see for yourself in Ronaldo’s highlights video from that famous game below.
Ronaldo completed 11 dribbles, played four key passes and created three chances during his exhibition on the biggest stage in club football.
It really was breathtaking stuff from the Portuguese superstar and his Moscow masterpiece will always rank as one of his finest ever performances.
The night after winning his first Champions League, Ronaldo – who scored 42 goals in 49 games in 2007/08 – showed why he was destined to remain at the very top.
“I lived with Cristiano in Manchester for five years, an unforgettable experience,” Ronaldo’s cousin, Nuno Viveiros, told Tuttosport, per The Sun. “The night when the team won the Champions League in 2008. Do you remember the final of Moscow with Chelsea that ended on penalties?
“Terry slides into the right post of the goal and at the end Van der Sar saves Anelka’s shot.
“Do you know what Cristiano did when we got back to Manchester that night? He went to train.
“He went to train after becoming a champion. European Champion at the age of twenty-three, he is like that, he’s a real son of Madeira.”
The phrase ‘elite mentality’ is probably an understatement in Ronaldo’s case…