Cristiano Ronaldo Portuguese footballer
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, ComM, GOIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɾiʃ'tjɐnu ʁuˈnaɫdu], born 5 February 1985) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is a forward and serves as captain for Portugal. In 2008, he won his first Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. Ronaldo then won the FIFA Ballon d'Or in 2013 and 2014. In 2016, he received his fourth Ballon d'Or, the most for a European player in the history of the award, and the inaugural Best FIFA Men's Player. In 2015, Ronaldo scored his 500th senior career goal for club and country.
Often ranked the best player in the world and widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time, Ronaldo was named the best Portuguese player of all time by the Portuguese Football Federation, during its 100th anniversary celebrations in 2015. He is the only player to win four European Golden Shoe awards. One of the most marketable athletes in sport, in 2016 Forbes named Ronaldo the world's best paid athlete. In June 2016, ESPN ranked him the world's most famous athlete.
Ronaldo began his senior club career playing for Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United at age 18 in 2003. After winning his first trophy, the FA Cup, during his first season in England, he helped United win three successive Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title, and a FIFA Club World Cup. By age 23, he had received Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year nominations. He was the subject of the most expensive association football transfer when he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid in 2009 in a transfer worth €94 million ($132 million). In Spain, he has since won one La Liga title, two Copas del Rey, two Champions League titles, and two Club World Cups. Ronaldo holds the record for most goals scored in a single UEFA Champions League season, having scored 17 goals in the 2013-14 season. In 2014, Ronaldo became the fastest player to score 200 goals in La Liga, which he accomplished in his 178th La Liga game. He is the only player in the history of football to score more than 50 goals in a season on six consecutive occasions. In 2015, Ronaldo became the all-time top goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League, and he also became Real Madrid's all-time leading goalscorer. He is the second highest goalscorer in La Liga history behind Lionel Messi, his perceived career rival.
Ronaldo made his international debut for Portugal in August 2003, at the age of 18. He is Portugal's most capped player of all time with over 130 caps, and has participated in seven major tournaments: four UEFA European Championships (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016) and three FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014). He is the first Portuguese player to reach 50 international goals, making him Portugal's all-time top goalscorer. He scored his first international goal in Euro 2004 and helped Portugal reach the final. He took over captaincy in July 2008, and he led Portugal to the semi-finals at Euro 2012, finishing the competition as joint-top scorer. In November 2014, Ronaldo became the all-time top scorer in the UEFA European Championship (including qualifying) with 23 goals. At Euro 2016, he became the most capped player of all-time in the tournament, the first player to score at four consecutive European Championship finals, and also equalled Michel Platini's all-time record for most goals scored in the competition. Ronaldo lifted the trophy after Portugal defeated France in the final, and he received the Silver Boot as the second-highest goalscorer of the tournament.
Ronaldo was born in Santo António, a neighbourhood of Funchal, Madeira, the youngest child of Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro, a cook, and José Dinis Aveiro, a municipal gardener. His second given name, "Ronaldo", was chosen after then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, who was his father's favourite actor. He has one older brother, Hugo, and two older sisters, Elma and Liliana Cátia. His great-grandmother Isabel da Piedade was from Cape Verde. The family was staunchly Catholic. Ronaldo later said that he grew up in poverty, sharing a room with his brother and sisters.
As a child, Ronaldo played for amateur team Andorinha, where his father was the kit man, and later spent two years with local club Nacional. In 1997, aged 12, he went on a three-day trial with Sporting CP, who signed him for a fee of £1,500. He subsequently moved to Alcochete, near Lisbon, to join Sporting's other youth players at the club's football academy. By age 14, Ronaldo believed he had the ability to play semi-professionally, and agreed with his mother to cease his education in order to focus entirely on football. While popular with other students at school, he had been expelled after throwing a chair at his teacher, who he said had "disrespected" him. A year later, however, he was diagnosed with a racing heart, a condition that could have forced him to give up playing football. He underwent an operation in which a laser was used to cauterise the affected area of his heart; discharged from hospital hours after the procedure, he resumed training only a few days later.
At age 16, Ronaldo was promoted from Sporting's youth team by first-team manager László Bölöni, who was impressed with his dribbling. He subsequently became the first player to play for the club's under-16, under-17, and under-18 teams, the B team, and the first team, all within one season. A year later, on 7 October 2002, Ronaldo made his debut in the Primeira Liga, against Moreirense, and scored two goals in their 3-0 win. Over the course of the 2002-03 season, his representatives suggested the player to Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier and Barcelona president Joan Laporta. Manager Arsène Wenger, who was interested in signing the winger, met with him at Arsenal's grounds in November to discuss a possible transfer.
Ronaldo came to the attention of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson in August 2003, when Sporting defeated United 3-1 at the inauguration of the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon. His performance impressed the Manchester United players, who urged Ferguson to sign him. Ferguson himself considered the 18-year-old "one of the most exciting young players" he had ever seen. A decade after his departure from the club, in April 2013, Sporting honoured Ronaldo by selecting him to become their 100,000th member.
2003-06: Development and breakthrough
Ronaldo became Manchester United's first-ever Portuguese player when he signed before the 2003-04 season. His transfer fee of £12.24 million made him, at the time, the most expensive teenager in English football history. Although he requested the number 28, his number at Sporting, he received the number 7 shirt, which had previously been worn by such United players as George Best, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham. Wearing the number 7 became an extra source of motivation for Ronaldo, who stated that his goal was to establish himself among the world's best players within the next three years. A key element in his development during his time in England proved to be his manager, Alex Ferguson, of whom he later said, "He's been my father in sport, one of the most important and influential factors in my career".
Ronaldo made his debut in the Premier League in a 4-0 home victory over Bolton Wanderers on 16 August 2003, receiving a standing ovation when he came on as a 60th-minute substitute for Nicky Butt. His performance earned praise from George Best, who hailed it as "undoubtedly the most exciting debut" he had ever seen. Ronaldo scored his first goal for Manchester United with a free kick in a 3-0 win over Portsmouth on 1 November. Three other league goals followed in the second half of the campaign, the last of which came against Aston Villa on the final day of the season, a game in which he also received his first red card. Ronaldo ended his first season in English football by scoring the opening goal in United's 3-0 victory over Millwall in the FA Cup final, earning his first trophy.
At the start of 2005, Ronaldo played two of his best matches of the 2004-05 season, producing a goal and an assist against Aston Villa and scoring twice against rivals Arsenal. After scoring four goals in United's run to the FA Cup final, he played the full 120 minutes of the decisive match against Arsenal, which ended in a goalless draw, and scored his attempt in the lost penalty shootout. Although not yet a prolific goalscorer, Ronaldo scored three braces during the next campaign, the 2005-06 season, scoring two goals each against Bolton Wanderers,Fulham, and Portsmouth. He scored Manchester United's 1000th Premier League goal on 29 October, their only strike in a 4-1 loss to Middlesbrough. Midway through the season, in November, he signed a new contract which extended his previous deal by two years to 2010, as he felt his time at the club was important for the development of his career. Ronaldo won his second trophy in English football, the Football League Cup, after scoring the third goal in United's 4-0 final victory over Wigan Athletic.
During his third season in England, Ronaldo was involved in several incidents. He had a one-match ban imposed on him by UEFA for a "one-fingered gesture" towards Benfica fans, and was sent off in the Manchester derby—a 3-1 defeat—for kicking Manchester City's former United player Andy Cole. Ronaldo clashed with a teammate, striker Ruud van Nistelrooy, who took offence at the winger's showboating style of play. Following a training ground fight in January 2006, the two again fought in May, with van Nistelrooy telling Ronaldo to "go crying to your daddy", a reference to Ronaldo's relationship with assistant manager Carlos Queiroz. Van Nistelrooy was left on the substitutes' bench for the final game of the season against Charlton Athletic—a 4-0 victory in which Ronaldo scored his ninth league goal—and was subsequently sold by the club. Following the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in which he was involved in an incident where club teammate Wayne Rooney was sent off, Ronaldo publicly asked for a transfer, lamenting the lack of support he felt he had received from the club over the incident. United, however, denied the possibility of him leaving the club.
Although his World Cup altercation with Rooney resulted in Ronaldo being booed throughout the 2006-07 season, it proved to be his breakout year, as he broke the 20-goal barrier for the first time and won his first Premier League title. An important factor in this success was his one-to-one training by first-team coach René Meulensteen, who taught him to make himself more unpredictable, improve his teamwork, call for the ball, and capitalise on goalscoring opportunities rather than waiting for the chance to score the aesthetically pleasing goals for which he was already known. His upturn in form was showcased in November when he received a standing ovation from a section Blackburn Rovers supporters as he was substituted. He scored three consecutive braces at the end of December, against Aston Villa—a victory which put United on top of the league—Wigan Athletic, and Reading. Ronaldo was named the Premier League Player of the Month in November and December, becoming only the third player to receive consecutive honours.
2007-09: Collective and individual success
At the quarter-final stage of the 2006-07 UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo scored his first-ever goals in the competition, finding the net twice in a 7-1 victory over Roma. He subsequently scored four minutes into the first semi-final leg against Milan, which ended in a 3-2 win, but was marked out of the second leg as United lost 3-0 at the San Siro. He also helped United reach the FA Cup final, putting them 2-1 up against Watford, but the decisive match against Chelsea ended in a 1-0 defeat. Ronaldo netted the only goal in the Manchester derby on 5 May 2007—his 50th goal for the club—as Manchester United claimed their first Premier League title in four years. As a result of his performances, he amassed a host of personal awards for the season. He won the Professional Footballers' Association's Player's Player, Fans' Player, and Young Player of the Year awards, as well as the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year award, becoming the first player to win all four main PFA and FWA honours. His club wages were concurrently upgraded to £120,000 a week (£31 million total) as part of a five-year contract extension with United.
Ronaldo scored a total of 42 goals in all competitions during the 2007-08 season, his most prolific campaign during his time in England. His first goal of the season came against his former club, Sporting, with a header in the first group match of the Champions League. He missed three matches after headbutting a Portsmouth player at the start of the season, an experience he said taught him not to let opponents provoke him, but still managed to score 13 league goals by the campaign's midway point. At the end of 2007, four years after proclaiming his desire to become one of the world's best players, Ronaldo achieved his goal when he was named runner-up to Kaká for the Ballon d'Or, as voted for by sports journalists, and came third, behind Kaká and Lionel Messi, in the running for the FIFA World Player of the Year award, as determined by international managers and captains.
Ronaldo scored his first and only hat-trick for Manchester United in a 6-0 win against Newcastle United on 12 January 2008, bringing United up to the top of the Premier League table. A month later, on 19 March, he captained United for the first time in a home win over Bolton, and scored both goals of the match. His second goal was his 33rd of the campaign, which bettered George Best's total of 32 goals in the 1967-68 season, thus setting the club's new single-season record by a midfielder. Ronaldo scored his final league goal of the season from the penalty spot in the title decider against Wigan on 11 May, as United claimed a second successive Premier League title. His 31 league goals earned him the Premier League Golden Boot, as well as the European Golden Shoe, which made him the first winger to win the latter award.
In the knockout stage of the Champions League, Ronaldo scored the decisive goal against Lyon, which helped United advance to the quarter-finals 2-1 on aggregate, and, while playing as a striker, scored with a header in the 3-0 aggregate victory over Roma. Despite him missing a penalty in the first leg against Barcelona, United eventually advanced to the final in Moscow, where they faced Chelsea. His opening goal was negated by an equaliser as the match ended in a 1-1 draw, but although his penalty was saved in the shoot-out, Manchester United emerged victorious. As the Champions League top scorer, Ronaldo was named the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year. He additionally received the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards for the second consecutive season.
As rumours circulated of Ronaldo's interest in moving to Real Madrid, United filed a tampering complaint with governing body FIFA over Madrid's alleged pursuit of their player, but they declined to take action. FIFA president Sepp Blatter asserted that the player should be allowed to leave his club, describing the situation as "modern slavery". Despite Ronaldo publicly agreeing with Blatter, he remained at United for another year. Ahead of the 2008-09 season, on 7 July, he underwent ankle surgery, which kept him out of action for 10 weeks. Following his return, he scored his 100th goal in all competitions for United with the first of two free kicks in a 5-0 win against Stoke City on 15 November, which meant he had now scored against all 19 opposition teams in the Premier League at the time. Five days later, he received the third red card of his career when he was sent off against Manchester City. At the close of 2008, Ronaldo helped United win the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, assisting the final-winning goal against Liga de Quito and winning the Silver Ball in the process. He subsequently became United's first Ballon d'Or winner since George Best in 1968, and the first Premier League player to be named the FIFA World Player of the Year.
Ronaldo scored his first Champions League goal of the season, and his first since the final against Chelsea, in a 2-0 victory over Inter Milan, sending United into the quarter-finals. His match-winning goal in the second leg against Porto, a 40-yard strike, earned him the inaugural FIFA Puskás Award, presented by FIFA in recognition of the best goal of the year; he later called it the best goal he had ever scored. He scored twice against Arsenal, including a free kick from 39 yards, as United advanced to the final in Rome, where he made little impact in United's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona. Ronaldo ended his time in England with nine trophies, as United claimed their third successive Premier League title and a Football League Cup. He finished the campaign with 26 goals in all competitions, 16 goals fewer than the previous season, in four more appearances. His final ever goal for Manchester United came on 10 May 2009 with a free kick in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford.
2009-12: World record transfer and La Liga championship
Ahead of the 2009-10 season, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid for a world record transfer fee of £80 million (€94 million). His contract, which ran until 2015, was worth €11 million per year and contained a €1 billion buy-out clause. At least 80,000 fans attended his presentation at the Santiago Bernabéu, surpassing the 25-year record of 75,000 fans who had welcomed Diego Maradona at Napoli. Since club captain Raúl already wore the number 7, Ronaldo received the number 9 shirt, which was presented to him by the former Madrid player Alfredo Di Stéfano.
Ronaldo made his debut in La Liga on 29 August 2009, against Deportivo La Coruña, and scored from the penalty spot in Madrid's 3-2 home win. He scored in each of his first four league fixtures with the club, the first Madrid player to do so. His first Champions League goals for the club followed with two free kicks in the first group match against Zürich. His strong start to the season, however, was interrupted when he suffered an ankle injury in October while on international duty, which kept him sidelined for seven weeks. A week after his return, he received his first red card in Spain in a match against Almería, which also saw him miss a penalty. Midway through the season, Ronaldo placed second in the running for the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, behind Lionel Messi of Barcelona, Madrid's historic rivals. He finished the campaign with 33 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in a 4-1 win against Mallorca on 5 May 2010, his first in the Spanish competition. His first season at Real Madrid ended trophyless.
Following Raúl's departure, Ronaldo was handed the number 7 shirt for Real Madrid before the 2010-11 season. His subsequent return to his Ballon d'Or-winning form was epitomised when, for the first time in his career, he scored four goals in a single match during a 6-1 rout against Racing Santander on 23 October. His haul concluded a goalscoring run of six consecutive matches—three in La Liga, one in the Champions League, and two for Portugal—totalling 11 goals, the most he had scored in a single month. Ronaldo subsequently netted further hat-tricks against Athletic Bilbao, Levante, Villarreal, and Málaga. Despite his scoring rate, he failed to make the podium for the inaugural FIFA Ballon d'Or at the end of 2010, marking the only year during his time in Spain to date that he was not named one of the world's two best players.
During a historical series of four Clásicos against rivals Barcelona in April 2011, Ronaldo scored twice to equal his personal record of 42 goals in all competitions in a single season. Although he failed to find the net during Madrid's eventual elimination in the Champions League semi-finals, he equalised from the penalty spot in the return league game and scored the match-winning goal in the 103rd minute of the Copa del Rey final, winning his first trophy in Spain. Over the next two weeks, Ronaldo scored another four-goal haul against Sevilla, a hat-trick against Getafe, and a brace of free kicks against Villarreal, taking his league total to 38 goals, which equalled the record for most goals scored in a season held by Telmo Zarra and Hugo Sánchez. His two goals in the last match of the season, against Almería, made him the first player in La Liga to score 40 goals. In addition to the Pichichi Trophy, Ronaldo consequently won the European Golden Shoe for a second time, becoming the first player to win the award in two different leagues. He ended his second season at Real Madrid with a total of 53 goals in all competitions.
During the following campaign, the 2011-12 season, Ronaldo surpassed his previous goalscoring feats to achieve a new personal best of 60 goals across all competitions. His 100th goal for Real Madrid came at Camp Nou in the Supercopa de España, though Barcelona claimed the trophy 5-4 on aggregate. He regained a place on the FIFA Ballon d'Or podium, as runner-up to Messi, after scoring hat-tricks against Real Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano, Málaga, Osasuna, and Sevilla, the last of which put Madrid on top of the league by the season's midway point. Despite two goals from Ronaldo, Madrid were subsequently defeated by Barcelona 4-3 on aggregrate in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. He again scored twice, including a penalty, in the Champions League semi-finals against Bayern Munich, resulting in a 3-3 draw, but his penalty kick in the shootout was saved by Manuel Neuer, leading to Madrid's elimination.
Ronaldo found greater team success in the league, as he helped Real Madrid win their first La Liga title in four years, with a record 100 points. Following a hat-trick against Levante, further increasing Madrid's lead over Barcelona, he scored his 100th league goal for Madrid in a 5-1 win over Real Sociedad on 24 March 2012, a milestone he reached in just 92 matches across three seasons, breaking the previous club record held by Ferenc Puskás. Another hat-trick in the Madrid derby against Atlético Madrid brought his total to 40 league goals, equalling his record of the previous season. His final league goal of the campaign, against Mallorca, took his total to 46 goals, four short of the new record set by Messi, and earned him the distinction of being the first player to score against all 19 opposition teams in a single season in La Liga.
Ronaldo began the 2012-13 season by lifting the Supercopa de España, his third trophy in Spain. With a goal in each leg by the Portuguese, Madrid won the supercup on away goals following a 4-4 aggregate draw against Barcelona. Although Ronaldo publicly commented that he was unhappy with a "professional issue" within the club, prompted by his refusal to celebrate his 150th goal for Madrid, his goalscoring rate did not suffer. After netting a hat-trick, including two penalties, against Deportivo La Coruña, he scored his first hat-trick in the Champions League in a 4-1 victory over Ajax. Four days later, he became the first player to score in six successive Clásicos when he hit a brace in a 2-2 draw at Camp Nou. His performances in 2012 again saw Ronaldo voted second in the running for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, finishing runner-up to four-time winner Messi.
Following the 2012-13 winter break, Ronaldo captained Real Madrid for the first time in an official match, scoring a brace to lift 10-man Madrid to a 4-3 victory over Real Sociedad on 6 January. He subsequently became the first non-Spanish player in 60 years to captain Madrid in El Clásico on 30 January, a match which also marked his 500th club appearance. Three days prior, he had scored his 300th club goal as part of a perfect hat-trick against Getafe. Following hat-tricks against Celta Vigo and Sevilla, he scored his 200th goal for Real Madrid on 8 May in a 6-2 win against Málaga, reaching the landmark in just 197 games. He helped Madrid reach the Copa del Rey final by scoring a brace in El Clásico, which marked the sixth successive match at Camp Nou in which he had scored, a scoring streak twice as long as that of any other player in Madrid's history. In the final, he headed the opening goal of an eventual 2-1 defeat to Atlético Madrid, but was shown a straight red card in the 114th minute for violent conduct. Real Madrid also failed to defend their La Liga title, finishing runners up to Barcelona.
In the first knockout round of the Champions League, Ronaldo faced his former club Manchester United for the first time. After scoring the equaliser in a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabéu, he netted the match-winning goal in a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, his first return to his former home grounds; afterwards, he commented that he felt sadness at having caused United's elimination from the competition. Ronaldo scored three goals in Madrid's 5-3 aggregate victory over Galatasaray to see them advance to the semi-finals, He scored Madrid's only goal in the 4-1 away defeat to Borussia Dortmund, but failed to increase his side's 2-0 victory in the second leg, as they were eliminated at the semi-final stage for the third consecutive year. Ronaldo had scored 12 goals, finishing as the Champions League top goalscorer for a second time in his career. Accounting for all competitions, he ended the season with a total of 55 goals.
Real Madrid's failure to win major silverware and reports of division among the players prompted speculation regarding Ronaldo's future at the club. At the start of the 2013-14 season, however, he signed a new contract that extended his stay by three years to 2018, with a salary of €17 million net, making him briefly the highest-paid player in football. He was joined at the club by winger Gareth Bale, whose world record transfer fee of €100 million surpassed the fee Madrid had paid for Ronaldo four years prior. Together with striker Karim Benzema, they formed an attacking trio popularly dubbed BBC, an acronym of Bale, Benzema, and Cristiano. After enjoying a strong goalscoring run during the first half of the campaign, Ronaldo suggested that he was in the best form of his career. By late November, he had scored 32 goals from 22 matches played for both club and country, including hat-tricks against Galatasaray, Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Northern Ireland, and Sweden. He ended 2013 with a total of 69 goals in 59 appearances, his highest year-end goal tally. His efforts earned him the FIFA Ballon d'Or, an amalgamation of the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year award, for the first time in his career, though the media vote favoured Franck Ribéry. The achievement fuelled public recognition of Ronaldo as one of the greatest players in football history.
Concurrently with his individual achievements, Ronaldo enjoyed his greatest team success in Spain to date, as he helped Real Madrid win La Décima, their tenth European Cup. In the knockout phase of the competition, he scored a brace in each leg of a 9-2 aggregate win against Schalke 04, helping Madrid advance to the quarter-finals. His goal in a 3-0 home win over Borussia Dortmund—his 100th Champions League match—took his total for the season to 14 goals, equalling the record Messi had set two years before. After hitting a brace in a 4-0 defeat of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, he scored from the penalty spot in the 120th minute of the 4-1 final victory over Atlético Madrid, becoming the first player to score in two European Cup finals for two different winning teams. His overall performance in the final was subdued as a result of patellar tendinitis and related hamstring problems, which had plagued him in the last months of the campaign. Ronaldo played the final against medical advice, later commenting: "In your life you do not win without sacrifices and you must take risks." As the Champions League top goalscorer for the third time, with a record 17 goals, he was named the UEFA Best Player in Europe.
In the Copa del Rey, Ronaldo helped Madrid reach the final by scoring a brace of penalties against Atlético Madrid at the Vicente Calderón, the first of which meant he had now scored in every single minute of a 90-minute football match. His continued issues with his knee and thigh caused him to miss the final, where Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 to claim the trophy. While Madrid were less successful in La Liga, finishing third, Ronaldo was unmatched as a goalscorer. He scored 31 goals in 30 league games, which earned him the Pichichi and the European Golden Shoe, receiving the latter award jointly with Liverpool striker Luis Suárez. Among his haul was his 400th career goal, in 653 appearances for club and country, which came with a brace against Celta Vigo on 6 January; he dedicated his goals to compatriot Eusébio, who had died two days before. A last-minute, backheeled volley scored against Valencia on 4 May—his 50th goal in all competitions—was recognised as the best goal of the season by the Liga de Fútbol Profesional, which additionally named Ronaldo the Best Player in La Liga.
During the next campaign, the 2014-15 season, Ronaldo set a new personal best of 61 goals in all competitions, starting with both goals in Real Madrid's 2-0 victory over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup. He subsequently achieved his best-ever goalscoring start to a league campaign, with a record 15 goals in the first eight rounds of La Liga, including a four-goal haul against Elche and hat-tricks against Deportivo La Coruña and Athletic Bilbao. His record 23rd hat-trick in La Liga, scored against Celta Vigo on 6 December, made him the fastest player to reach 200 goals in the Spanish league, as he reached the milestone in only his 178th game. After lifting the FIFA Club World Cup with Madrid in Morocco, again winning the Silver Ball, Ronaldo received a second successive FIFA Ballon d'Or, joining Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini, and Marco van Basten as a three-time Ballon d'Or winner.
2015-present: All-time Real Madrid goalscorer and
Following the winter break, Ronaldo's form faltered, concurrently with a decline in performance by his team. A 2-1 defeat against Valencia in the first match of 2015, despite his opening goal, ended Real Madrid's Spanish record winning streak of 22 matches in all competitions. Their season continued unsuccessfully as they failed to win a major trophy, earning a second-place league finish and a semi-final exit in Europe. In the latter competition, Ronaldo extended his run of scoring away to a record 12 matches with his strike in a 2-0 win against Schalke 04, before hitting a brace in the 3-4 return defeat that allowed Madrid to progress to the quarter-finals. He then scored both of his side's goals in the semi-finals against Juventus, where Madrid were eliminated 2-3 on aggregate. With 10 goals, he finished the campaign as top scorer for a third consecutive season, alongside Messi and Neymar.
In La Liga, where Madrid finished second, Ronaldo went on a prolific goalscoring run towards the very end of the season. For the first time in his career, he scored five goals in one game, including an eight-minute hat-trick, in a 9-1 rout of Granada on 5 April. His 300th goal for his club followed three days later in a 2-0 win against Rayo Vallecano. Subsequent hat-tricks against Sevilla, Espanyol, and Getafe took his number of hat-tricks for Real Madrid to 31, surpassing Di Stéfano's club record of 28 trebles. As a result, Ronaldo finished the season with 48 goals, two ahead of his total in the 2011-12 season, despite having missed two matches in February for assaulting a Córdoba player. In addition to a second consecutive Pichichi, he won the European Golden Shoe for a record fourth time.
At the start of his seventh season at Real Madrid, the 2015-16 campaign, Ronaldo became the club's all-time top scorer, first in the league and then in all competitions. His five-goal haul in a 6-0 away win over Espanyol on 12 September took his tally in La Liga to 230 goals in 203 games, surpassing the club's previous recordholder, Raúl. A month later, on 17 October, he again surpassed Raúl when he scored the second goal in a 3-0 defeat of Levante at the Bernabéu to take his overall total for the club to 324 goals. Ronaldo also became the all-time top scorer in the Champions League with a hat-trick in the first group match against Shakhtar Donetsk, having finished the previous season level with Messi on 77 goals. A brace against Malmö, netted in a 2-0 away win on 30 September, saw him reach the milestone of 500 career goals for both club and country. He subsequently became the first player to score double figures in the competition's group stage, setting the record at 11 goals, including another four-goal haul against Malmö.
Despite finishing runner-up to Messi for the FIFA Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo received criticism for his form and performances against top teams, with 14 of his goals coming against Espanyol and Malmö. During the second half of the season, however, his form gradually improved. By scoring four goals in a 7-1 home win over Celta Vigo on 5 March 2016, Ronaldo arrived at 252 goals in La Liga to become the competition's second-highest scorer in history behind Messi. After netting the match-winning goal for 10-man Madrid in a 2-1 Clásico victory on 2 April, he scored a hat-trick against Wolfsburg to send his club into the Champions League semi-finals despite a 2-0 first-leg defeat. The treble took his tally in the competition to 16 goals, making him the top scorer for the fourth consecutive season and the fifth overall. Suffering apparent fitness issues, Ronaldo gave a poorly-received performance in the final against Atlético Madrid, in a repeat of the 2014 final, though his penalty in the subsequent shoot-out secured La Undécima, Madrid's 11th victory. For the sixth successive year, he ended the season having scored more than 50 goals across all competitions. For his efforts during the season, he received the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award for a second time.
On 6 November 2016, Ronaldo signed a new contract which will keep him until 2021 with Madrid. On 19 November, he scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 away win against Atlético Madrid, making him the all-time top-scorer in the Madrid derby with 18 goals. On 15 December 2016, Ronaldo scored his 500th club career goal (377 goals for Madrid, 118 goals for Manchester United and 5 goals for Sporting Lisbon) in the 2-0 victory over Club América in the semi-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup. He then scored a hat-trick in the 4-2 win over Japanese club Kashima Antlers in the final. Ronaldo finished the tournament as top scorer with four goals and was also named the best player of the tournament. He won the Ballon d'Or for a fourth time and the inaugural Best FIFA Men's Player, a revival of the old-style FIFA World Player of the Year, largely owing to his triumph with Portugal at the European Championship. On 15 January, Cristiano Ronaldo tied Hugo Sánchez as the most prolific penalty-kick scorer in the history of La Liga, with his 56th penalty from 65 attempts in a 2-1 loss to Sevilla, which ended Real Madrid's 40 match unbeaten streak in all competitions.