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Top 10 Real Madrid players of all time - #1

Sports Mole's countdown of the top 10 Real Madrid players of all time concludes with number one - Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cristiano Ronaldo (2009-2018)

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after helping his side to victory in the 2018 Champions League final in Kiev© Reuters

Rarely does a fee of £80m seem like a bargain in retrospect, but the world-record figure Real Madrid paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo nine years ago has been repaid by the player many times over.

It was always going to take a truly special player to knock Alfredo Di Stefano off top spot as Madrid's greatest ever, and Ronaldo's exploits will place him down alongside the likes of Pele, Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi as one of the best players to have ever graced the game.

The 33-year-old had already won one Ballon d'Or before joining Madrid, but there is no doubt that the best years of his career have come at the Bernabeu, where his goalscoring feats have been scarcely believable.

Now a five-time Ballon d'Or winner, Ronaldo netted 33 times in just 35 appearances during his debut season in Madrid, and incredibly that proved to be by far his worst campaign. The Portugal captain has scored at least 50 goals in each of his subsequent eight seasons, averaging at least a goal per game in six of those.

Ronaldo went on to break Raul's Madrid scoring record in less than half the time it took the Spaniard to set it, and departs having scored 450 goals in just 438 appearances - putting him 127 goals clear of his nearest challenger.

Ronaldo's full list of records is far too long to list here, but his highlights include being the leading scorer in Europe's top six leagues, the leading scorer in European competition and netting the most hat-tricks in La Liga history (34).

Barcelona's dominance means that Ronaldo's trophy cabinet is perhaps not as full as one might expect - with only two La Liga titles from his nine years at the club - although they have been dominant in the Champions League recently, lifting the trophy three times in a row and four times in the last five years.

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Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the 2018 Champions League final against Liverpool in Kiev
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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