Cristiano Ronaldo has been crowned the FIFA Best Player Of the Year for the second consecutive year. The Portuguese superstar has beaten the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. to FIFA’s most prestigious award this year.
After a slow start to the season, Ronaldo came back to his best and fired Real Madrid to La Liga and Champions League glory. The attacker showed up guns blazing and helped the Spanish giants to a double with some incredible displays.
Here, we highlight Cristiano’s most important performances that secured not just the trophies but also the individual accolade that followed earlier this week.
#5. Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich (12-04-2017)
Cristiano Ronaldo came under heavy criticism ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie against Bayern Munich.
The Portuguese had the worst start ever to any Champions League campaign in his career. He only managed to score an embarrassing 2 goals up to the quarter-final of the competition. He was booed by the Madrid fans and many of them asked for him to be benched.
But to everybody’s surprise, the winger bounced back and inspired the team to a victory scoring 2 vital goals that gave Real Madrid an important away win in Munich. The German team had taken an early lead through Arturo Vidal’s header to make it 1-0.
But Ronaldo later decided the match when he scored his first with a fine finish from close range before finally adding the second by poking the ball past the helpless Manuel Neuer and into the net to seal an important away victory for the Spanish club.
#4. Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich (18-04-2017)
A week after Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid to a crucial away victory against Bayern Munich, the German Champions travelled to Spain for the second-leg of the tie. This time, Bayern Munich was more determined and they were all out to cause some real problems to Los Blancos.
The German team opened the scoring from a penalty kick converted by Robert Lewandowski to make the game 0-1. During this period, they were attacking Madrid aggressively and were dominating the game.
It was Cristiano Ronaldo who intervened with a brilliant finish to level the game before a stubborn Bayern forced the game into the extra time after being helped by an own goal by Sergio Ramos.
In the extra time, the Portuguese icon was decisive again and added two more goals to make it an impressive hat-trick which fired the Spanish giants into the semi-final of the competition.
#3. Real Madrid vs Athletico Madrid (02-05-2017)
Real Madrid made it to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League in 2017 and the credit goes to Cristiano Ronaldo.
They were once again tied with their city rivals, Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the competition. Cristiano Ronaldo was there again to aid his team by scoring an impressive hat-trick to settle the tie.
The first goal came when Sergio Ramos was granted time to cross the ball from the right, and he sent it towards Ronaldo, who was running in behind Diego Godín. The defender headed the ball out but it went to Casemiro, who could not meet it perfectly.
As the ball sprang up, Cristiano Ronaldo headed it into the net from 6 yards out. The second goal came when Benzema held off Diego Godin to nudge a cross from Marcelo to Ronaldo who smashed a superb shot into the net while the third arrived when Lucas Vázquez broke through the right wing to cut the ball back for the Portuguese to score comfortably.
#2. Real Madrid vs Malaga (21-05-2017)
Once again, Cristiano Ronaldo was the hero for Real Madrid firing Los Blancos on the way to their first La Liga title in 5 years. There was intense competition from Barcelona towards the end of the season which meant that there was no room for slip-ups.
But Madrid faced a difficult task, playing against a stubborn Malaga side for the final match of the La Liga campaign. The match was heavily anticipated as Barca fans tipped Malaga to cause an upset.
However, it took Cristiano Ronaldo just 2 minutes to put Real Madrid ahead with a vital goal at the La Rosaleda stadium after capitalizing on a mistake from the Malaga defence.
Karim Benzema’s goal later in the match ensured that Real Madrid was crowned Champions as Ronaldo led the team to their first La Liga title in 5 years.
#1. Juventus vs Real Madrid (03-06-2017)
Buffon and the the Juve backline did a wonderful job to inspire Juventus to the final of the UEFA Champions League. Then came a Real Madrid side that had become a juggernaut of sorts led by the prolific Cristiano Ronaldo.
In Cardiff, it took only 20 minutes for the Portuguese to put his team ahead in the encounter.
Although Mario Mandzukic equalised to secure a half-time draw, Real Madrid still had work to do in the second half and Ronaldo did not disappoint as he scored another important goal to seal the deal after Casemiro had put the team ahead in the 61st minute.
Another goal from Marco Asensio in the 90th minute put the match to bed as Ronaldo led Real Madrid to consecutive Champions League triumphs.
Article written by Jidonu Mauyon of Sportskeeda