• Top List

The 5 greatest headers of Cristiano Ronaldo’s career

Cristiano Ronaldo
Getty Images
Advertisement

Cristiano Ronaldo has notched over 100 headed goals in his career and will probably go down as the greatest header of a ball in history.

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo will go down as one of the greatest headers of the game, if not the best. 

The Portuguese forward has pulverized defenses down the years with his killer touch inside the box. His goal tally, in fact, is off the roof with scored 674 club goals throughout his stellar career to date.

108 of these have come courtesy of a header, with 27 of them ending up as match-winners for Manchester United, Real Madrid, and now Juventus.

Ronaldo’s NBA-style jumps have been a key factor behind his success in beating defenders in aerial challenges. Not even the best have stopped him, while he scores for fun from the air.

So ahead of the new season, we decided to take a look at the player’s five best headers throughout his career so far.

Barcelona – Copa del Rey final (2011)

The one was so good, in fact, that Real Madrid fans voted it as the best-ever Clasico goal.

It came in the 2011 Copa del Rey final in April during a run of three Clasicos in the space of 11 days between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Despite the constant meetings, however, both teams were fired up for this one.

But they were unable to break the deadlock in normal time, with Jose Mourinho’s defensive tactics beating Pep Guardiola’s attacking philosophy.

Barcelona keeper Jose Manuel Pinto, meanwhile, pulled off a miraculous one-handed save from Cristiano Ronaldo. 

The match, therefore, went into extra time where Angel Di Maria’s cross from the left wing found Ronaldo inside the box.

The Portuguese leaped and powered a bullet header past Pinto to win Real Madrid an 18th Copa del Rey title.

Wales – Euro semi-finals (2016)

Portugal may have won Euro 2016, but without Cristiano Ronaldo it wouldn’t have been possible at all.

The forward’s brilliant form enabled Fernando Santos’ men to survive the group stages despite drawing all three of their matches. That brilliant backheel flick against Hungary was a sight to savor.

Ronaldo then helped Portugal defeat Croatia and Poland in the knockout stages before firing them into the final at the expense of Wales.

All eyes in the semi-final were on the Real Madrid battle between Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. 

But the Portugal captain had the measure of Bale, with his towering header in the 50th-minute breaking the deadlock. Nani added a second just three minutes later to seal a memorable 2-0 win.

Sampdoria – Serie A (2019)

Undoubtedly, one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s finest headers.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored for the fifth in a row on Wednesday by firing an unstoppable header. Therefore, he’s now found the back of the net six times in his last five outings.

Sky Sport Italia reported that Ronaldo jumped an incredible 2.56 meters to restore Juventus’ lead after Gianluca Caprari canceled out Paulo Dybala’s opener. Not bad for a 34-year-old, right?

Incidentally, that was the 11th header Ronaldo has scored for Juventus.

Sevilla – La Liga (2015)

Picking one that could beat the Sampdoria one wasn’t an easy call.

But this one against Sevilla in May 2015 deserved a special mention as it came from a tight angle, and kept Real Madrid’s La Liga titles hopes alive.

It came in a hard-fought 3-2 win where a full-strength Sevilla side gave it everything at Andalusia. 

But substitute Gareth Bale sent a cross flying into the far post in the 69th-minute, where Cristiano Ronaldo somehow managed to head the ball past Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico from a tight angle.

It completed a hat-trick for the Real Madrid star, and took his tally for that season up to 42 goals.

He finished that campaign with 48 goals and 16 assists in 35 La Liga games.

Manchester United – Champions League (2013)

It was the return of the prodigal son as Real Madrid and Manchester United faced off for the first time since his world-record exit in 2009.

Sir Alex Ferguson knew eliminating Los Blancos in the Champions League last-16 stage would be a tough call, especially with his old star Cristiano Ronaldo onboard.

“His decision-making, his maturity, his experience, plus all the great skills he has got, they all make him the complete player”, said Ferguson via Marca.

“You just saw his game grow all the time, and he was a fantastic player.”

But United managed to hold Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in the first-leg. Sergio Ramos’ own goal then gave them the lead in the return fixture to put them on course for a quarter-final spot.

However, Jose Mourinho’s side equalized in the 66th-minute through Luka Modric following Nani’s red card.

Ronaldo then somehow fired in Angel Di Maria’s cross to earn Real Madrid a quarter-final spot, at United’s expense.

David de Gea stood no chance in stopping the header, with Patric Evra hopelessly looking on being the icing on the cake.

x