This was the day Cristiano Ronaldo has been dreaming of ever since joining Real Madrid in 2009, winning “La Decima” for “Los Blancos,” and in the process, adding yet another record to his already impressive collection.
There is no question that this was Ronaldo’s year, and beating Lionel Messi to the Ballon d’Or — for the second time in his career — was just one of his many personal accomplishments in 2014.
During the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, Cristiano also became the first player in the tournament’s 59-year history to score a goal for two different winners — he did it with Manchester United in Moscow in 2008 — not an easy feat.
With their last major play of what was one dramatic match, Ronaldo was tripped inside the penalty box and converted, confidently to put the nail in Atletico Madrid’s coffin and take “La Decima,” the 10th title, for his beloved Real Madrid, something the club had been waiting for since 2002.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 25, 2014
The beautiful execution by the 29-year-old Portuguese superstar was in stark contrast to his miss against Chelsea during the shootout six years ago, which ended in heartbreak for Ronaldo”
Ronaldo was unstoppable in international competition in 2014, becoming the first player to score 15-goals in one UCL season, breaking Jose Altafini’s (AC Milan) 14-goal record established 51 years ago, which was also tied by Cristiano’s nemesis, Lionel Messi, during the 2011-2012 season.
The Real Madrid forward also tied Lionel Messi with 67 goals for his career in UCL competition, only three away from the all-time record of 71-goals held by Raul.
Cristiano Ronaldo had scored 52-goals in 51 UCL matches since joining Real Madrid and was making a rare appearance in front of his home crowd in Lisbon when he took the field on Saturday.
This is the city where he began his professional career with the Portuguese team, Sporting, and so for Ronaldo, who is considered by many one of the best to ever played the game, it was certainly a special, unforgettable day.
Speaking with reporters after the incredible match, Ronaldo said:
“Ever since I arrived at the club I always felt ready for this moment. The pressure is making me a better player every day. The Decima (10th European Cup) is here now and with records broken along the way it’s just awesome.”
And now it’s time to celebrate all that was accomplished by Cristiano Ronaldo in this truly exciting season, but only for a little while as he turns his focus on next month’s World Cup in Brazil, where he will lead his country to what he hopes is another dream come true, the World Champions title.
[Image via Twitter]