Cristiano Ronaldo: Real Madrid signed Portuguese star on this day in 2009 - his first season was unreal

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Every now and then, a player comes along who simply changes the face of the game we know and love.

Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho, Kaka, and Andrea Pirlo would all fall comfortably into that category.

However, when it comes to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, we’d need to create a new tier entirely.

In their own special way, Ronaldo and Messi have completely flipped the beautiful game on its head, breaking every available record under the sun and winning just about every trophy they could get their hands on.

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Messi’s sublime natural talent is almost alien while Ronaldo’s fierce determination, skill and professionalism is something that will probably never be matched.

The Portuguese superstar has shown the importance of good ol’ genuine hard graft, spending days on end on the training pitches and in the gym.

Now don’t get us wrong, we’re still certain he is one of the most naturally gifted players to have ever kicked a ball, but a huge part of his immense success has to be attributed to his work ethic.

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He first set the world alight in the famous red of Manchester United, making the Premier League the playground of his youth.

However, it was when Ronaldo made the switch to Spanish superpower Real Madrid that his career was truly launched through the stratosphere.

The Spanish side coughed up a then world-record fee of £80 million for Ronaldo’s services and he immediately began the work of justifying that price tag.

After being unveiled to a jam-packed Bernabeu, Ronaldo hit the ground running in his first season. 

While it turned out to be his lowest return in terms of goal involvements Los Blancos, he still had the sort of season that any mere mortal would dream of having.

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After all, he did score 33 goals in 35 games.

Highlights of that season show that Ronaldo, bizarrely wearing the number nine shirt, was in no way burdened by his monstrous price tag.

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If anything, he proved himself to be an absolute bargain.

It has now been 12 years to the day since Ronaldo signed on as Madrid’s latest Galactico and what a career he would end up having there.

He will go down as one of the greatest players to ever pull on that famous white shirt, making that £80 million look like absolute pocket change in the process.

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