When Cristiano Ronaldo last scored a free-kick and his set piece record for Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick technique is world famous – but like the occasionally spectacular Roberto Carlos, his efforts nestle in the back of the net pretty infrequently nowadays.
When they do, the outcome is incredible. Ronaldo’s free-kick goals often rank among his most spectacular, think back to his very first in a Manchester United shirt.
One of Ronaldo’s most memorable ever free-kick goals came for Manchester United against Portsmouth in 2008, with goalkeeper David James left rooted to the spot. In the eyes of many who watched it, Ronaldo’s free-kick is right up there with the best dead ball efforts of all time.
Ronaldo’s first ever free-kick goal for Manchester United also came against Portsmouth in 2003, when he curled in an effort from wide left which sailed over everybody into the net.
These free-kicks were among a total of 14 Ronaldo scored for Manchester United, which all came during his first spell at the club between 2003 and 2009.
Two of these came in one game against Stoke, while one famously came in a Champions League semi-final against Arsenal in 2009, an outrageous long range effort.
Ronaldo’s last free-kick for Manchester United came a few weeks later in 2009, a winning goal in a 1-0 win against Manchester City.
During his time at Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored more than 30 free-kicks for the club between 2009 and 2018. The final one came as the winning goal in the Club World Cup Final against Gremio in 2017.
Ronaldo only scored one free-kick for Juventus, this came in a 4-1 victory over Turin rivals Torino in a game without fans in 2020.
It was a spectacular effort curled into the top corner rather than one which was fired in at a million-miles-per-hour like his Portsmouth strike.
Since his return to Manchester United, fans wait for him to break his duck. While he has scored just the one free-kick goal at club level since 2017, there was a time he did so regularly in a Red Devils shirt.
Among his 14 free-kick goals for United, six of them came during his final 2008/09 season in a Red Devils shirt.
This season in the Premier League alone, Ronaldo has attempted five free-kicks, and none of them have found the net.
United fans wait, with anticipation. Surely he has at least one more left in him, and perhaps he is saving the big moment for when it really matters. When it does, you can bet the outcome will be spectacular.