Cristiano Ronaldo: LaLiga triumph and a second consecutive Champions League trophy
Cristiano Ronaldo has joined LiveScore as Official Global Brand Ambassador. Over five days we're charting the seasons in which he won the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.
Retaining the Ballon d'Or once is no mean feat — but to do it twice places you firmly in the pantheon of greatness.
Cristiano Ronaldo was recognised as the world’s best player for a fifth time in 2017, achieving his second back-to-back victory, after yet another staggeringly successful season.
It was a campaign that had it all, from winning LaLiga to lifting a second consecutive Champions League trophy.
Real Madrid’s leading scorer marked his most-recent Ballon d'Or-winning year with a silverware-laden season for the history books.
The double double
When Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in 2014, he joined an elite group of Lionel Messi, Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Kevin Keegan and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who have all retained the trophy.
Though Platini and Messi won it in three and four consecutive years respectively, Ronaldo’s 2017 victory made him the first player to retain the award at two separate points in his career.
So the Portuguese icon was understandably delighted when he received his trophy at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
He said: “This is something I look forward to every year. Thanks to my Real Madrid teammates. And I want to thank the rest of the people who helped me reach this level.”
A team effort
Ronaldo was right to thank his teammates, who had provided solid foundations for their totemic No7 to shine in the 2016-17 season.
Madrid lost just three LaLiga games across the entire campaign as Zinedine Zidane’s men pipped rivals Barcelona to the title by three points.
Of course Ronaldo remained the star of the show, netting 25 times in 29 league matches. But the supply line of Toni Kroos (11), Marcelo (8) and Isco (7) provided 26 assists between them, laying the foundations for their talisman to do what he does best — score goals.
The 100 club
The man from Madeira has often saved his best displays for the Champions League and 2016-17 was no exception.
He entered the record books during the 2-1 quarter-final victory over Bayern Munich, when he became the first player to score 100 goals in UEFA competitions after netting a brace at the Allianz Arena.
Remarkably, it only took Ronaldo 143 games to reach that figure, but, always keen to go one better, he followed that up with a hat-trick in the home leg to hit the 100-goal mark exclusively in Champions League matches.
The Ronaldo final
Those goals set up yet another huge tie against Atletico Madrid in the semi-final — and Ronaldo was once again ready to deliver in the biggest matches of all.
His hat-trick in the first leg put Real 3-0 up and in the driving seat, and there was no way back for Atleti despite their 2-1 victory at the Vicente Calderon.
But if that was the appetiser, the final in Cardiff was the main course.
Ronaldo swept home Dani Carvajal’s right-sided cross to open the scoring before contributing Madrid’s third in a 4-1 win; darting in at the near post to convert Luka Modric’s delivery from close range.
The Portuguese superstar sealed the fourth Champions League trophy of his career in Wales, but never had he dominated a final quite like the 2017 edition.
Striving for more
Not since the 2007-08 season with Manchester United had Ronaldo secured a domestic title and Europe’s top prize in the same season, and Madrid became the first team in the Champions League era to retain the trophy.
But Real’s superstar frontman has never been one to rest on his laurels.
Reflecting on a successful campaign, he said: “It was a spectacular end to the season with La Liga and the Champions League. We've got another record, the first team to retain the Champions League and the top scorer in the tournament. What more could I ask?
“I will now try to make the most of this unique moment in my career and then prepare for international duty with Portugal. Another Ballon d'Or? We'll see.”
Still going strong with Juventus at the age of 36, you certainly wouldn’t rule it out.
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