Ten years ago, on June 11 2009, Real Madrid announced one of the most successful signings in the history of modern football.
Manchester United man Cristiano Ronaldo signed for the Madrid club for £80m. Teams now spend this much on a player after one good season at a mid-table Premier League club, but in 2009 this fee seemed astronomical, yet entirely justified for one the world’s best talents.
Despite breaking the world-record transfer fee in order to secure his services, Los Blancos surely would not have expected Ronaldo to deliver as much as he did.
During his nine seasons with the Spanish giants, the Portuguese forward made 438 appearances, scoring an obscene 451 goals in that time.
Joining at the time Barcelona started to dominate Spanish and European football, the Madeira-born man’s trophy cabinet still boasts an incredible amount of silverware.
With four Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, two La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups, Ronaldo’s spell at the Bernabeu will be remembered for a long, long time.
Of course, Ronaldo won himself the odd individual accolade along the way two. As well as four Ballons d’Or and three Golden Shoe awards, the Portuguese forward also smashed the club’s all-time goalscoring record.
Raul’s tally of 323 goals would have seemed unattainable when he first joined, but Ronaldo managed to reach this tally in roughly half as many games as it took the Spanish striker, earning him an almost mythical status at the club.
Club president Florentino Perez labelled the Portuguese attacker as “the heir to Alfredo Di Stefano”, who fittingly was the man who introduced Ronaldo to the fans at the Bernabeu during his unveiling in 2009, but it’s fair to say Ronaldo has written his own legacy in Madrid.