The Portuguese forward has time and again scored some of the best goals from dead-ball situations.
Cristiano Ronaldo made history in the Nations League match against Sweden when he netted his 100th international goal, becoming only the second male player to reach that feat. He accomplished the milestone by finding the net via an outstanding free-kick as Cristiano Ronaldo has done on numerous previous occasions.
The forward followed that up with another superb hit from outside the box in the second half to complete a comfortable 2-0 victory for Portugal. The frequency with which he scores from free-kicks may have reduced with time but he still remains a ferocious striker of the ball and carries plenty of threat from dead-ball situations. Without further ado, let’s take out a look at some of the deadliest free-kick goals Cristiano Ronaldo has scored over the years.
10. Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo, 2017
In this clash against Celta Vigo in the second leg of the quarterfinals of the Spanish Copa Del Rey in 2017, Ronaldo stood over the ball with his side desperate for some inspiration as they were a goal down in the game and two on aggregate.
As you might expect, he managed to bring his side back into the game with a powerful strike that evaded the wall, and the goalkeeper, who despite a full-length dive wasn’t successful in keeping it out. However, to the dismay of Ronaldo, the Sky Blues got a late goal that ended up knocking Madrid out of the competition.
9. Manchester United vs Sporting Lisbon, 2007
Facing his old side Sporting Lisbon in an important encounter in the group stages of the 2007-08 Champions League, the scores were level going into injury time. With the game hanging in the balance, Ronaldo fired in a superb free-kick that had way too much venom and whip behind it for the goalkeeper to handle. It helped United secure a crucial win and confirmed their progression to the knockout stages of the tournament as group winners.
8. Portugal vs Spain, 2018
This particular free-kick against Spain in the group stage clash at the 2018 World Cup holds special significance as it helped Ronaldo to complete his first-ever hattrick at the quadrennial event. He also broke multiple records with his majestic curler that helped his side to salvage a draw in the final minutes of normal time. Moreover, the forward became the first player in history to score a hattrick against Spain at the World Cup.
7. Real Madrid vs Villarreal, 2010
Donning the No.9 jersey on this occasion, the two-time La Liga winner scored an absolute screamer to give his side the lead on the night. The Portuguese packed plenty of pace behind the shot and generated enough movement to beat the man in goal. Madrid completed a 6-2 demolition of Villarreal in this particular contest with Ronaldo kickstarting the rout with this wonderful hit.
6. Manchester United vs Europe XI, 2007
This goal came in a very unique encounter. Back in 2007, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of both the European Union and Manchester United’s 50 years in the competition, there was a special game organized between the Red Devils and a European XI that boasted the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Andrea Pirlo, and Eric Abidal among other big names.
Nevertheless, the game finished 4-3 to Manchester United, with Ronaldo unsurprisingly stealing the show with a sumptuous free-kick. From around 40 yards or so, he struck the ball so purely that it travelled at great speed and almost devilishly changed direction to deceive the keeper, who went the wrong way.
5. Portugal vs Denmark, 2011
Although this goal may have come in a defeat, it should take nothing away from the incredulous quality of Ronaldo’s strike. Trailing 2-0 to Denmark, the Portuguese struck a marvellous free-kick in injury time to pull one back for his side.
From a considerable distance, he whipped the ball into the top corner that passed the keeper even before he could make an attempt to save it. The pace, the dip, the unpredictable trajectory – all hallmarks of a classic Ronaldo free-kick.
4. Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, 2012
Over the years, Ronaldo has tormented Atletico Madrid, previously playing for Real Madrid and now for Juventus. Similarly, in a match against them back in 2012, Ronaldo scored a stunning free-kick that completely bamboozled goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Striking from almost 35-40 yards, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner got the ball to swerve midway, almost mischievously changing directions to the tune of its master, and dipped perfectly into the bottom corner. He had yet again come up with the goods in a big game and it certainly wasn’t the last time he stepped forward and made the difference for his side as we have witnessed on countless occasions throughout the last decade.
3. Manchester United vs Portsmouth, 2008
During his time with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo scored some wonderful free-kick goals for the Red Devils. Nevertheless, one that will always vividly live in the memories of fans would be his jaw-dropping strike against Portsmouth in the 2007-08 season of the Premier League.
Using his trademark knuckleball technique, he thumped the ball into the top corner with wicked velocity and unexplainable movement that left David James in goal motionless, completely glued to his spot. Like the rest of us, he could only admire the shot and the brilliance of the man that conjured it.
2. Real Madrid vs Marseille, 2009
Having freshly completed a record-breaking move to Real Madrid, the Portuguese superstar was still in the process of adapting to life in Madrid. However, his performance against the French side would have helped him massively to get back to his lethal best and win over his new supporters.
During this away match against Marseille in the group stages of the 2009-10 UCL, Cristiano Ronaldo produced a sumptuous free-kick to give his side the lead on the night. From a very central position, he managed to get tremendous swerve on the ball, which coupled with its unstoppable pace, gave the keeper absolutely no chance. A truly wonderful hit.
1. Manchester United vs Arsenal, 2009
Back in 2009, domestic rivals Manchester United and Arsenal had squared up against each other in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. United were already in a commanding position but the game still wasn’t out of reach for the Gunners. That was until Ronaldo hammered the ball into the net from 40 yards.
To make it even more memorable, just moments before he proceeded to produce that absolute screamer, Clive Tyldesley, the commentator for that game had uttered the following words, “It’s 35 yards or more. Too far for Ronaldo to think about it.” In Tyldesley’s defence, that is exactly what a mortal would think given the distance and location of the free-kick, but this was Cristiano Ronaldo, a man with an unparalleled mentality and impenetrable belief in his own abilities.
This is a special strike for so many reasons, let alone the occasion and importance of this contest. Firstly, the unbelievable audacity to have an attempt on goal from that far out, then the amazing power he generates on the shot, and lastly the unerring accuracy to perfectly squeeze it into the corner past the goalkeeper. It will undoubtedly go down in history as one of his most iconic goals.