Ranking Cristiano Ronaldo’s Best Ever Seasons
Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest soccer player of all time, right?
Okay – I don’t want to fuel another Ronaldo-Messi debate here. But there is no denying that the Portuguese megastar is one of the best to ever play the game.
Since making his professional debut for Sporting CP back in 2002, Ronaldo has enjoyed unrivalled success with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus – scoring an almost incalculable number of goals along the way.
But what are Ronaldo’s best seasons?
Below, I rank Cristiano Ronaldo’s top five seasons, taking into account goals, assists, trophies, individual awards, and more.
5. 2019/20 – Shining in Serie A
- Club: Juventus
- Games: 46
- Goals: 37
- Assists: 7
- Goals per game ratio:80
By his own ridiculously high standards, the 2019/20 campaign wasn’t exactly extraordinary for Ronaldo.
I mean, if any other player had scored 37 goals in 46 games for Juventus that season, they probably would have earned every individual accolade under the sun.
But by the time Ronaldo moved to Juventus in 2018, he was already 33. At that age, players are supposed to be past their prime. However, after notching up a hugely impressive 28 goals and 11 assists during his debut season in Italy, the evergreen forward upped his game in 2019/20.
Despite bagging a brace in the Round of 16, Ronaldo was unable to prevent Juventus from suffering an early Champions League exit. But in Serie A, the Portuguese fired the Old Lady to a ninth straight Scudetto.
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Two separate injuries saw Ronaldo make a relatively slow start to 2019/20, scoring just five goals across Juve’s opening 13 league outings. But when he returned to full fitness, there was no stopping him.
Ronaldo scored in 11 consecutive Serie A games between December and February, with three braces and one hat-trick seeing him net 16 times during that period. He ended the campaign by scoring 26 goals in his final 23 league appearances.
Juventus only clinched the title by a single point in 2019/20, narrowly edging Inter Milan. We all know that soccer is a team game, although it could be argued that Ronaldo singlehandedly won the Scudetto for his side.
Sure, CR7 has enjoyed a host of more prolific seasons – and we’ll get to those shortly. But given that he was 35 for much of the 2019/20 campaign, it is difficult not to include this season among his best.
4. 2016/17 – La Liga and Champions League Double
- Club: Real Madrid
- Games: 46
- Goals: 42
- Assists: 12
- Goals per game ratio:91
It’s safe to say that Ronaldo was already a bona fide Real Madrid legend by the time the 2016/17 season rolled around. In fact, it could be argued that he was at the peak of his powers.
At 31, he had already won countless trophies with both Manchester United and Los Blancos, as well as three Ballon d’Ors. Still, he was far from finished.
Ronaldo missed a total of nine league games in 2016/17, yet he still managed to score 25 goals. Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez finished ahead of him on the goalscoring leaderboard, but Real Madrid eventually secured the La Liga title by finishing three points clear of the Catalans.
Just days after clinching the La Liga title, Ronaldo netted a double as Real crushed Juventus 4-1 in the Champions League final.
CR7 bagged 12 goals and six assists in 13 UCL appearances that season. After netting a brace and a hat-trick in the quarter-finals against Bayern Munich, he went on to score another hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.
Ronaldo was rewarded for his efforts in 2016, picking up his fourth Ballon d’Or midway through the 2016/17 campaign. At the end of 2017, he secured the award for a fifth time.
With a goals per game ratio of 0.91, it is hard to believe that 2016/17 isn’t Ronaldo’s best season to date. Keep reading to find out which campaigns rank higher.
3. 2007/08 – The Breakthrough
- Club: Manchester United
- Games: 49
- Goals: 42
- Assists: 8
- Goals per game ratio:86
Ronaldo moved from Sporting CP to Manchester United in 2003 and almost instantly started making a name for himself. His first few years in England were productive, although he didn’t exactly set the Premier League alight.
But in 2007/08, the Portuguese prodigy became a global star.
Having racked up a modest 35 goals in 129 EPL appearances between 2003/04 and 2006/07, Ronaldo wasn’t viewed as a prolific goalscorer back then. However, his breakthrough season quickly changed that perception.
|CRISTIANO RONALDO (ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE)|
CR7 netted a phenomenal 31 goals in 34 Premier League games during the 2007/08 campaign, ending up seven goals clear of his nearest Golden Boot challengers – Liverpool’s Fernando Torres and Arsenal’s Emmanuel Adebayor.
In fact, his efforts that season saw him produce one of the most prolific Golden Boot-winning campaigns in EPL history.
After firing Man Utd to the Premier League title, Ronaldo helped Alex Ferguson’s side to win the Champions League. The forward scored in normal time before missing a penalty in the shootout, yet the Red Devils subsequently prevailed over EPL rivals Chelsea.
However, Ronaldo’s best years were still ahead of him.
2. 2014/15 – Individual Brilliance
- Club: Real Madrid
- Games: 54
- Goals: 61
- Assists: 23
- Goals per game ratio:13
In term of trophies, 2014/15 was a relatively barren season for Ronaldo. Yes, Real Madrid won the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. But the club missed out on the big two – the Champions League and La Liga.
Still, on a personal level, Ronaldo enjoyed a remarkable campaign.
With a ludicrous 48 goals in 35 La Liga matches, Ronaldo secured the Trofeo Pichichi. In any other season, Messi would have finished as the league’s top scorer. The Argentine ended up scoring 43 goals, yet he was outshone by his rival.
This is what the La Liga scoring charts looked like in 2014/15.
- Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid (48)
- Lionel Messi – Barcelona (43)
- Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid (22)
- Neymar – Barcelona (22)
- Carlos Bacca – Sevilla (20)
Despite scoring in both legs of the semi-final, Ronaldo fell just short of reaching another Champions League showpiece, with Real Madrid losing to Juventus in the last four.
The forward bagged eight goals in his first eight UCL appearances in 2014/15, yet he was ultimately unable to guide his side to a second consecutive European triumph.
Unsurprisingly, the Ballon d’Or came Ronaldo’s way once again in 2014. The talisman finished the campaign with 61 goals and 23 assists in 54 matches, boasting an outrageous goals per game ratio of 1.13.
1. 2011/2012 – Record Breaker
- Club: Real Madrid
- Games: 55
- Goals: 60
- Assists: 15
- Goals per game ratio:09
2014/15 is Ronaldo’s most prolific goalscoring season to date. But when it comes to choosing his best campaign, it is difficult to overlook 2011/12.
Let’s get one thing straight – 60 goals in 55 appearances at a rate of 1.09 goals per game is still an astonishing achievement, right?
Ronaldo may have racked up nine more goal involvements in 2014/15. However, it could be argued that his accomplishments in 2011/12 eclipse any other season in his illustrious career.
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Remarkably, Ronaldo finished second to Messi (50) in the Pichichi standings that season, despite scoring 46 league goals. But he did manage to lead Real Madrid to the La Liga title – something that he failed to do in 2014/15.
It wasn’t just a regular La Liga triumph, either. Los Blancos broke the record for most points in a single season (100), most goals scored (121), best goal difference (+89), and most wins (32), as well as losing just two of their 38 matches.
Throughout the campaign, Ronaldo humiliated defenders with his dazzling trickery and unstoppable pace. Oh, and he also scored seven hat-tricks, including an unforgettable treble against cross-city rivals Atletico Madrid.
Ronaldo has enjoyed countless memorable seasons over the years, but perhaps 2011/12 is his best.
Don’t get me wrong – ranking Cristiano Ronaldo’s best seasons isn’t an easy task.
The Portuguese superstar has enjoyed a hugely successful career, and even as he approaches his late thirties, he isn’t showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Having won everything there is to win with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus, as well as guiding Portugal to European Championship glory in 2016, there is a feeling that Ronaldo could still want to showcase his talent in a different league.
Will he end up in MLS? What about PSG or Bayern Munich? Click the link below to find out more.