Ronaldo Nazario is revered by many as the greatest goalscorer to have ever lived.
Across a glittering career that spanned spells with Barcelona, Inter Milan, Corinthians and AC Milan, the Brazilian icon made his name as one of the most lethal finishers in the sport’s illustrious history.
In fact, a lot of people would argue that Ronaldo would be widely heralded as the undisputed GOAT if it wasn’t for serious knee injuries stealing from him what might well have been his best years.
Ronaldo’s Real Madrid spell
However, while those injury problems might have curtailed his time with Inter around the turn of the century, Ronaldo was still able to fight back and provide us all with some of the old magic afterwards.
Not only did the ‘Il Fenomeno’ go on to win the World Cup with a tournament-high eight goals in 2002, but he also secured a move to Real Madrid that facilitated his final great performances.
Besides, once Ronaldo had waved goodbye to the Bernabeu in 2007, it would be fair to say that his best days were behind him, but not before he left the Spanish fans something to remember him by.
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Real Madrid 2-0 Atletico Madrid
From scoring 61 seconds into his Los Blancos debut to notching a hat-trick at Manchester United, Ronaldo’s time in the Spanish capital was full of glorious moments that summed up his brilliance.
And one lesser-remembered stroke of genius is the subject of our retrospective today because any excuse to look back on the moments of magic that Ronaldo left us with is a good one.
So, cast your minds back to the 2003/04 season with Real Madrid lining up for a La Liga clash at home to Atletico Madrid in December, which ultimately ended up in a 2-0 victory for the hosts.
Ronaldo’s superb 14-second goal
Raul secured the three points with Real’s second in the 20th minute, but it was Ronaldo who set the wheels in motion for the win by scoring just 14 seconds into the game. Yes, that’s right, 14 seconds.
And what makes Ronaldo’s lightning-quick goal all the more impressive is that he pretty much created it all by himself with the simplest of skill moves that took him past six Atletico players in one.
It really was a masterclass in how to slaughter an entire defence in both a single move and just a handful of seconds, so be sure to enjoy Ronaldo’s enduring brilliance by watching it down below:
Just imagine being that good. Staggering.
A footballing genius
The moment that Ronaldo fakes a shot from the edge of the penalty area and completely bamboozles the back-line, as well as sending one player completely to the floor, is simply class.
And it should come as absolutely no surprise that Ronaldo provided a composed finish at the end of it all, even threatening to dribble around the goalkeeper as he so often did throughout his career.
In many ways, it was one of the highlights of what some might argue to be Ronaldo’s last great season with the Brazilian notching home 31 goals, which was a high watermark for him at Real.
Whether or not that’s accurate is for you to decide, but regardless of the statistics, Ronaldo was all about the magic and talent that could never be quantified in numbers and data.