According to many soccer fans, Cristiano Ronaldo is the best soccer player of the last two decades and perhaps of all time. Looking at his statistics, we can confidently say he is among the best of all time. But why is Ronaldo so good?
Ronaldo is so good because of his speed, excellent dribbling, passing, superb finishing and shooting, fitness, and work ethic. These traits enable him to put up impressive statistics, making him the top scorer of all time.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at why Ronaldo is so good and what traits he best masters. In addition, statistics are used to determine whether Cristiano Ronaldo is the best soccer player of all time.
Cristiano Ronaldo is often considered the best soccer player in the world, with some even calling him the greatest of all time.
It's not hard to see why people say this when looking at Ronaldo's career.
Ronaldo has won 7 league titles across the English Premier League, Spain's La Liga, and Italy's Serie A, as well as winning 6 domestic cups along the way.
He's also won the UEFA Champions League five times, an achievement no other player has ever topped.
Let's not forget that Ronaldo has also won a European Championship with Portugal and the Nation's League.
To top it all off, Ronaldo has won the Ballon d'Or (best player of the year) 5 times and has been nominated on 17 occasions.
So now you know that he is one of the best to ever play the game, but how did Ronaldo become so good?
In this article, I will explain the main traits of why Ronaldo is so good.
When discussing what makes Cristiano Ronaldo so good, we have to first begin with his incredible scoring record.
In 1120 appearances for club and country, Ronaldo has scored 815 goals. This makes Ronaldo the highest goal scorer of all time!
Below are the top 10 goal scorers in history:
|1. Cristiano Ronaldo||815||1120||0.72||2002-current|
|2. Josef Bican||805||530||1.51||1931-1955|
|4. Lionel Messi||769||973||0.78||2004-current|
|6. Ferenc Puskás||741||746||0.99||1943-1966|
|7. Gerd Müller||735||793||0.93||1962-1983|
|8. Jimmy Jones||647||614||1.05||1946-1966|
|9. Robert Lewandowski||584||805||0.73||2006-current|
|10. Zlatan Ibrahimović||572||956||0.60||1999-current|
As you can see, nobody comes close to Ronaldo when it comes to goal scoring.
One of the reasons why Ronaldo gets so many goals is because of his creativity and all-around skill set.
When looking at other top goal scorers, many of their goals often come similarly. For example, Mbappé uses his speed to go past defenders to get good shots on goal.
With Ronaldo, though, he can get his goals in many different ways.
Ronaldo can dribble past players easily, rise high for headed goals, score incredible free-kicks, put penalties away with his eyes closed, and even use his positional awareness to score simple tap-ins.
In short, if you can stop Ronaldo from scoring in one way, he'll simply find another way to beat you.
There's another clear reason why Ronaldo tops the goal-scoring charts, and that's the number of games he's played.
Ronaldo has competed in an incredible 1120 games over his career, meaning he rarely ever takes time off with an injury.
Ronaldo's ability to play so many games is due to his unmatched fitness, conditioning, and overall work ethic.
While most soccer players usually retire or maybe even drop down the league's as they age into their mid-thirties, Ronaldo has been able to continue playing at the top level with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
In the 2021/22 season, at the age of 36, Ronaldo moved back to Manchester United to play every week at the highest level.
Not only was he able to play in most games that season, but he was also Manchester United's top goal scorer with 18 goals in the Premier League and 6 goals in the Champions League.
But how is Ronaldo able to keep performing at such an elite level while players of similar age are choosing to retire?
Ronaldo was always a naturally gifted fast player. However, a bad knee injury in 2014 made him rethink how he looks after himself and how to get the most out of his body.
Ever since then, Ronaldo has treated his body like a temple. He trains five days a week and follows an extremely strict diet.
Even after a game has finished, Ronaldo's teammates will often go unwind. At the same time, Ronaldo prefers to head home to swim lengths in his pool.
It's safe to say that you're more likely to bump into Ronaldo at a gym than at a bar or restaurant.
He also uses a cryotherapy ice chamber to aid his recovery and conditioning.
Cryotherapy (sometimes known as cold therapy) is a treatment where low temperatures are used to freeze abnormal skin cells and reduce swelling in joints and tendons.
This treatment means Ronaldo is stronger and more resilient to injuries that might slow down or weaken him.
This elite mentality and work ethic has resulted in Ronaldo still being able to perform at such a high level despite his age.
For a great example of how well Ronaldo has looked after himself, we can look toward his former Manchester United teammate - Wayne Rooney.
Ronaldo is a year older than Rooney. Yet in the 2021/22 season, Ronaldo was still scoring goals for Manchester United while Rooney was coaching Derby County in the Championship after retiring a year earlier.
Not only does Ronaldo have incredible strength and conditioning, but he's also naturally fast.
During the 2018 World Cup, Ronaldo would go on to record his highest ever speed. In a game against Spain, Ronaldo reached a top speed of 21.1 mph (34 km/h).
This made Ronaldo the fastest player at that tournament, along with Ante Rebic of Croatia.
|1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)||21.1 mph (34km/h)|
|Ante Rebic (Croatia)||21.1 mph (34km/h)|
|3. Luis Advincula (Peru)||21 mph (33.8km/h)|
|4. Santiago Arias (Colombia)||20.87 mph (33.6km/h)|
|5. Kyle Walker (England)||20.81 mph (33.5km/h)|
|Jesse Lingard (England)||20.81 mph (33.5km/h)|
|7. Maciej Rybus (Poland)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Marquinhos (Brazil)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Dani Carvajal (Spain)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Hirving Lozano (Mexico)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
|Heechan Hwang (South Korea)||20.6 mph (33.3km/h)|
Ronaldo's lean body frame is part of the reason why he is so fast, as it resembles that of a professional sprinter.
He's also had some specialist training from the fastest man on the planet.
In 2009, Manchester United brought Usain Bolt to their training ground. The record-breaking runner was said to have given Ronaldo some one-on-one lessons.
Although Ronaldo isn't the fastest player in the world, he's still very fast, and his speed is part of the reason why he is so good.
(Click here to find out more about how fast Ronaldo is)
It's no good for a soccer player to be fast if they can't dribble the ball. Luckily, Ronaldo is a very good carrier of the ball.
Over his career, Ronaldo has an average of 1.7 successful dribbles per game.
Note that when we say successful dribble, this means a run with the ball where the attacker actually takes the ball past a defender while retaining possession.
His most successful season for dribbling came in the 2009/10 season when Ronaldo averaged an impressive 3.1 successful dribbles per game while playing for Real Madrid.
However, in the 2021/22 season, he only averaged 0.7 successful dribbles per game in the Premier League.
Although Ronaldo's dribbling stats have declined over time, it's worth remembering that he changed his style to suit that of a striker more than a winger as he got older.
Ronaldo is an excellent passer of the ball. He has 272 assists over his career and averages 33 passes a game with a pass success rate of 81.3%.
These 272 assists make Ronaldo the 4th best player of all time for total assists.
|1. Lionel Messi||368|
|2. Thomas Muller||287|
|3. Luis Suarez||276|
|4. Cristiano Ronaldo||272|
|5. Angel Di Maria||267|
Ronaldo's constant drive for success is what makes him so special.
Whether it's because of his complete and utter dedication to making his body the strongest, or his freakish natural ability, Ronaldo truly is a special player.
Being the top goal scorer of all time is, of course, another reason why fans believe Ronaldo is so special.
His record number of goals is even more impressive when you consider how many clubs Ronaldo has played for.
Whether it's Manchester United in England, Real Madrid in Spain, or Juventus in Italy, Ronaldo has achieved the highest honors in nearly every big soccer league in Europe.
This is something that sets Ronaldo apart from other players who only have success for one or two clubs.
Many soccer fans believe Cristiano Ronaldo to be the greatest player of all time. But do the statistics back this up?
With 815 goals, Ronaldo is the highest goal scorer of all time. To summarize, no other player compares to Ronaldo when it comes to scoring goals.
He's also one of the best passers ever with 272 assists. However, we can't ignore the player who has the most assists of all time, Lionel Messi.
When soccer fans discuss the best player in the world, the argument is usually between Ronaldo and Messi.
As we have discovered, Ronaldo has more goals than Messi, but Messi leads the way in assists.
Messi beats Ronaldo for successful dribbles, with an average of 4.5 successful dribbles per game compared to Ronaldo's 1.7.
Messi has also scored more direct free-kicks than Ronaldo, with a success rate of 9.3% compared to Ronaldo's 5.9%.
Ronaldo has Messi beaten when it comes to overall speed.
Ronaldo's highest measured top speed is 21.1 mph (34 km/h). In comparison, Messi's highest measured speed is 20.1 mph (32.5 km/h).
This means that Ronaldo is 0.9 mph (1.5 km/h) faster than Messi.
(Click here to find out more about who is faster, Messi or Ronaldo)
Messi has two more Ballon d'Or wins than Ronaldo, but Ronaldo has been nominated more times than Messi.
It's worth mentioning again that Ronaldo has achieved all of this across many clubs in many different countries. In contrast, most of Messi's achievements were for one club in the same league.
As always, the person you think is the best ever is completely subjective and will vary from person to person.
Even so, there's enough data to make a good argument that Cristiano Ronaldo might indeed be the best ever.
The reason that Ronaldo is so good is due to his unmatched scoring record and his incredible work ethic.
Ronaldo has been able to continue playing at a high level, even at an older age, thanks to his strict diet and high-intensity exercise plan.
Along with Ronaldo's drive and determination, he has many natural abilities. All of this comes together to make Ronaldo one of the greatest soccer players of all time.