Cristiano Ronaldo's outrageous back-heel goal for Real Madrid even outdid Thierry Henry

Ronaldo's Real Madrid back-heel.

Cristiano Ronaldo was an unstoppable force of nature at Real Madrid.

While the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been out of this world wherever he’s played, there’s no denying that the nine years he spent at the Bernabeu were the most incredible of his club career.

Yes, it was at Manchester United where he burst onto the scene and yes, his time at Juventus is underrated, but nothing can possibly compare to the dizzying prime he reached with Los Blancos.

Ronaldo at Real Madrid

Besides, you only have to look at the fact that Ronaldo produced an outrageous record of 450 goals in just 438 appearances for the club to see that he was truly in a league of his own.

Scooping four Champions League titles in just five seasons and winning three European Golden Shoe trophies to boot, Ronaldo arguably played better than any male footballer before him.

However, it wasn’t just the number of goals that Ronaldo scored in all-white that catapulted him into the GOAT conversation, but it was so often the manner in which he scored them that impressed too.

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Ronaldo’s love for beautiful goals

After all, this was a time where Ronaldo was more partial to step-overs and knuckle-ball free-kicks than what we saw during his time in Turin and upon moving back to Old Trafford.

As such, reminiscing on the best goals that Ronaldo scored across his Real prime really is a treat because there are 10, 20, 30, if not 40 or more strikes that truly take your breath away.

And one of the most unique and spectacular strikes that Ronaldo produced for the Spanish giants continues to live rent-free in our minds all these years later: the back-heel at Rayo Vallecano.

Cast your minds back to the dizzy days of the 2011/12 season where Jose Mourinho led Real to La Liga glory with a record number of points and goals despite contending with Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.

Ronaldo scores for Real Madrid.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal against Rayo Vallecano during their Spanish First Division soccer match at Teresa Rivero stadium in Madrid February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Juan Medina (SPAIN – Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

Ronaldo stuns Rayo Vallecano

However, not every win that Los Blancos secured that year was straightforward with Ronaldo’s epic back-heel proving the only goal in a tense league affair at the Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas.

With Los Franjirrojos holding firm until the 54th minute, Ronaldo flipped the game on its head with a moment of inspiration when the ball fell to him with his back towards goal from a corner.

A mere mortal might have passed the ball to a teammate or even attempted a Cruyff turn, but Ronaldo was so unstoppable at the time that he attempted an audacious back-heel from fully 10 yards out.

The result? A finish into the bottom corner so lethal that most players can’t always pull it off when they’re facing the goal, so be sure to check out Ronaldo’s moment of genius down below:

Somebody grab me a time machine and take me back to the glory days.

Ronaldo even outdid Henry

Ronaldo’s outrageous finish against Rayo was so instinctive and precise that we’d even go as far as saying that it dislodged Thierry Henry from the throne of badass back-heel goals.

That’s because the Arsenal legend had previously displayed the finest high-profile example of this kind of goal when he stunned Charlton Athletic with a truly unique Premier League goal in the 2004/05 season.

Also with his back towards goal and seemingly no chance of getting a shot away, Henry similarly had to whip out the spectacular in order to find the net, so see which goal you prefer by watching his effort below:

Two majestic players, and goals

Look, both are absolutely stunning and enough to bring tens of thousands of people to their feet, but there’s something about the longer range and laser accuracy of Ronaldo’s goal that gives it the edge for us.

However, the fact that he was even scoring a goal so out of the ordinary that it could even earn comparisons to one of Henry’s Arsenal masterpieces is a testament to just how omnipotent he was.

Besides, pause and stop for a second to realise that Ronaldo’s back-heeled finish was just one of 60 goals that he scored during the 2011/12 campaign. Bonkers.

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