Cristiano Ronaldo has scored a number of brilliant free-kicks during his professional football career.
The Manchester United star has scored over 50 free-kicks in his time, so of course, there were bound to be some spectacular efforts.
There was the 39-yard strike against Atletico Madrid in 2012, that seemed to wobble and swerve in an unbelievable fashion as it made its way into the bottom corner of the net, past a frozen Thibaut Courtois.
And who could forget the 35-yard knuckleball that flew into the top corner past Portsmouth’s then-goalkeeper David James, during the forward’s first stint at Manchester United?
But Ronaldo’s relationship with free-kicks has been a rollercoaster throughout his career.
Early in his career, the forward was lauded for his free-kick ability. He was known as an unstoppable marksman with a dead ball at his feet.
At one point the Portuguese scored six free-kicks in a single season for Real Madrid, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing.
Ronaldo has gone through periods in his career with a quite frankly horrific conversion rate from free-kicks. During his spell at Juventus, it took the 37-year-old 43 attempts before he finally put one in the back of the net for The Old Lady.
During Euro 2020, Ronaldo was mocked after a free-kick he took for Portugal flew miles wide of the goal and into the empty stands, fans discussed at the time whether it was the worst free-kick of his career.
But before that, during his time at Juventus, the Portugal international was involved in one of the worst free-kick routines of all time.
The word routine is important here because Ronaldo’s strike was not a direct free-kick, but was part of a set play between himself and Miralem Pjanic, who rolled the ball in front of the superstar for him to strike.
In the clip, Ronaldo waits patiently for the referee to blow his whistle before Pjanic feeds the ball across to him. The forward follows the ball before wildly swinging his foot towards it, hitting it with a powerful strike that could have ended up anywhere.
— Lucas 🇨🇵🇦🇷 (@lucas_hby) December 15, 2018
Unfortunately for Ronaldo, ‘anywhere’ ended up being off the side of the pitch for a throw-in.
You know your free-kick is bad when the linesman has to dodge out of the way.
It’s clear Ronaldo is no longer the phenomenon he once was when it comes to a dead ball, but that doesn’t seem to stop the 37-year-old from still taking the opportunity at any chance he gets.
Plus, who would be brave enough to take the ball away from one of the greatest players of all time and tell him he isn’t good enough anymore?
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