Cristiano Ronaldo is a guy that most soccer fans love to hate. He’s vain, pompous, arrogant, and just way too hairless. (Seriously, it’s unnatural.) That being said, only a crazy person would deny that Ronaldo is one of the top two or three players of his generation. In fact, you could make a very strong argument that he is the best.
Now, I’m not saying he is the best player of his generation. I still think it’s Lionel Messi. I’m just saying if someone makes a good case it’s kind of hard to refute. And in 2013, with Messi hampered by injury and Ronaldo playing the best soccer of his career, he was easily the right choice for the Ballon d’Or.
So today, instead of making fun of Ronaldo like I normally do, I’m going to show the guy a little love this list of awesome Ronaldo GIFs. After all, he is extremely talented. And who knows—maybe he’s just really misunderstood, and all the diamonds and fauxhawks are just a cry for help.
Just in case you're not a huge soccer fan, you should know that scoring from 40 yards out is kind of hard.
27. Pretty Good Shot
I love the defender's reaction here. The ball goes through his legs and he turns around and puts his head down and sprints like he's actually got a shot at catching him...for about one second. Then he takes his foot off the gas before the ball is even in the goal because he knows it's over.
Is there anyone in soccer today who can do more with a first touch than Cristiano Ronaldo? (That's a rhetorical question. The answer is no.)
25. Soft Feet
Poor #8 probably never felt so helpless in his entire life.
24. Nutmeg, Part Deux
Oh, hey, here's Cristiano Ronaldo just casually running and chipping the ball to down field...except that's not what it is at all.
23. So Easy
It's Cristiano Ronaldo running and perfectly chipping the ball over the goalie and into the net, like he's playing soccer against a bunch of 8-year-old boys. The dude makes it look so easy.
22. But Not Really Easy At All
Honestly, this is just ridiculous. How can a guy be that dangerous from that distance?
21. Another Pretty Good Shot
In 2014 World Cup qualification, Portugal and Sweden squared off in a two-leg playoff. Portugal won the first game 1-0 on a pretty good Ronaldo goal (that we'll see in a little bit). Then they iced their victory with a 3-2 victory in the second game.
Can you guess who scored all three goals?
20. Sweden Hat Trick: Goal One
Here's the second goal Ronaldo scored in the second leg against Sweden, which proves there is no angle a goalie can create to take away this man's ability to score.
19. Sweden Hat Trick: Goal Two
And here is the goal that made it a hat trick. Here it's not so much the actual shot that's impressive as it is Ronaldo's perfect read of the situation. Before he even gets the ball he knows exactly where all three player are and where they are going, so when the ball arrives he puts it in the only place that will give him a chance to score. And then he scores.
18. Sweden Hat Trick: Goal Three
I know it looks like the goalie just sucks, but it's not as easy as it looks. Balls don't just bounce that way off anybody's foot.
17. Lot's of English
The goalie gives him the top corner over there because, seriously, what are the chances he can hit that?
16. No Chance
In case you never noticed, Cristiano Ronaldo is kind of good at free kicks.
15. Screw Beckham, Bend It Like Ronaldo
He's also pretty good at headers.
I give Ronaldo a lot of sh*t for being a pretty boy, but you have to give credit where credit is due. With a berth in the 2014 World Cup on the line in Portugal's two-leg playoff against Sweden, Ronaldo was willing to sacrifice his face to give his country a 1-0 lead.
Of course, he ended up scoring all four of Portugals' goals against Sweden. That's clutch.
Anyway, like I said, Ronaldo is good at headers.
And hey, the guy is even good at celebrating. I think that's the pasa doble?
11. It Is I, Ronaldo!
Like I said earlier, is there anyone who does more with the first touch than this guy?
10. Nice Touch
Okay, so maybe he doesn't do everything well. His defense, for example, could use some work.
9. Ronaldo on Defense
Also, sometimes he's a bit of a crybaby, like when he cursed the gods after losing to Spain in Euro 2012.
And okay, fine, sometimes Ronaldo can be pretty easily distracted...
But how many players on earth can score one-timers on passes moving away from them?
Well, probably a bunch. But you get my point. This is a sick goal, and Ronaldo does this sort of thing all the time.
6. Pure Brilliance
Then there are goals like this. It's like he's performing some kind of soccer ballet. The opposing team doesn't even know what the hell just happened.
5. Spinning Back Heel
And speaking of people who have no idea what just happened, can you imagine what this goalie is thinking?
4. Inside Out
But seriously, here is quite possibly Cristiano's most impressive goal. In fact, it's so amazing, let's take a look from another angle...
3. Slick Moves
Galatasaray may be the Turkish league champions, and that may have earned them a spot in the Champions League. But they're no match for this. Ronaldo absolutely undressed three defenders.
2. Another Angle
How good is Cristiano Ronaldo? So good that you still kind of like the guy even though he does stuff like this.
(Yes, Cristiano, those are your nipples. We see them.)