Cristiano Ronaldo: Three years at Real Madrid

Today marks three years since Cristiano Ronaldo set foot for the first time at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in front of 85,000 spectators (3,000 more were left outside the stadium), in what is considered the most massive presentation of a footballer in history. Around 9:15 pm on July 6, 2009, the Portuguese star, wearing the number 9 on his back, jumped at the Bernabeu grass under tremendous ovation. Florentino Perez, Alfredo Di Stefano and Eusebio witnessed honor of this historic event.

Cristiano Ronaldo: First day as Real Madrid player at Bernabeu  Stadium
Cristiano Ronaldo: First day as Real Madrid player at Bernabeu Stadium

"Hala Madrid!" said the player in his first meeting with the Real Madrid fans. Gestures like this and memorable performances have allowed him to becoome a true fan favourite from the start. He made his official debut on 29 August 2009 against Deportivo de la Coruña, scoring his first goal in the 3-2 victory.

Cristiano won the Golden Boot award in 2011 thanks to netting a record 40 strikes in La Liga (Spanish League). His impressive goal scoring skills have also allowed him to net 100 goals in the fewest games in the championship (92), to become the only player to tally strikes against every opponent in a 20-team championship, to score in more games in one season (27), to be the player with most victories in one campaign (32), as well as the top scoring player in the first leg of the competition (23 strikes).

Cristiano nets 1.01 goals on average per match with Real Madrid, more than legends such as Di Stefano, Puskas and Pahiño. In only three years, he has become one of the top ten scorers in the team's history with 146 strikes, scoring in seven straight games twice, something Puskas, Olmedo, Van Nistelrooy, Hugo Sanchez and Olsen only managed once.
In the 2010/11 season, he netted four goals against Racing and Sevilla. He scored the victory goal in the 2011 Copa del Rey final against Barcelona and the strike at the Camp Nou that proved decisive for Real Madrid to end up winning the 2011/12 league title. Madridistas constantly rememeber the iconic images he left us after the Mestalla header and the goal at Barça's stadium.

More impressively, Ronaldo improves on his own numbers every season. He netted 33 goals in his first year on the team, 53 the following season, and 60 in the 2011/12 campaign. This shows he is constantly evolving and growing as a player, and he's clearly on the path to becoming one of the best footballers in history. His assist numbers also improve each season (five, 12 and 15, respectively), which enhances his role on the team. He was also one of the leaders of Real Madrid's record-breaking league title in the 2011/12 campaign.

His excellent performances as a Madridista have helped him become Portugal's leader, performing at a great level in the recent Euro 2012, in which he became the only player to score in the last five international competitions (Euros and World Cups).


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