It was the 29th August 2009 when Cristiano Ronaldo made his official debut for Real Madrid. A 3-2 win over Deportivo was the result at the Santiago Bernabéu, and the record signing had his first goal. Eight years later, the Portugal star will be lining up for his 400th official game in the famous shirt that has confirmed his status as a footballing legend. And his goal haul over this period has been spectacular: 409 goals in 399 matches, an average of over one per appearance.
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Cristiano joins the Real Madrid 400 club
Joining the 400 club for Los Blancos puts him in some impressive company, and puts him on the verge of getting into the Top 20 across the history of the capital club, and he’ll start picking off other names over the coming weeks. Following tonight’s Champions League game in Dortmund is the league fixture on Sunday against Espanyol and that 401st appearance will equal that of another legendary number seven, Juanito. After that, a trip to Getafe on October 14 will see him join Velázquez on 402, with his place in the 20 players to have represented Madrid most. He’ll still be some way off the striker-turned-ambassador at number one, Raúl González Blanco, who started with the club at the age of 17.
Cristiano will step onto the Signal Iduna Park tonight knowing that Madrid are facing their first ‘mini’ crisis in some time. A loss at home to Real Betis less than a week ago followed by a less than potent attack against Alavés at the weekend have raised previously unlikely doubts over their goal-scoring threat. Tonight they’ll be looking to banish that thought and get back to their firing best.
Ronaldo after all is the leading scoring in the history of the European Cup with 107 goals. Behind him sit Barcelona’s Lionel Messi on 96, and Raúl some way behind in third on 71. The Portuguese forward’s Champions League form for Madrid has seen him score 44% away from the Santiago Bernabéu. Let’s see if he adds to that tonight.