MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 00:55:23

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
1Barcelona19134253203343
2Atletico MadridAtletico19108127131438
3Sevilla1996431201133
4Real Madrid1910362824433
5AlavesAlaves209562223-132
6Getafe208752516931
7Real Betis197572223-126
8Real Sociedad197482322125
9GironaGirona195952123-224
10Espanyol197392127-624
11Valencia1941141717023
12Levante196583035-523
13Athletic Bilbao1941052025-522
14EibarEibar195772128-722
15Leganes195771721-422
16Real Valladolid195771721-422
17Celta Vigo195683132-121
18Rayo Vallecano1954102234-1219
19Villarreal193882025-517
20Huesca1925121736-1911

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