Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers in history without any hesitation. The Portuguese star has racked up plenty of accolades since he made his debut with Sporting Lisbon during the beginning of the century, becoming one of the best that has ever played the game. Of course, no matter how great he is, CR7 has always needed some help on his way to becoming one of the most honored footballers in the world.
He’s been teammates with some of the most talented and hard working players in history that took the Portuguese to be the huge star he is nowadays. Ronaldo is still active, but the moment seems right to define who were the best players he had the chance to play with. Both at a club and international level, Cristiano shared touches with impressive players that helped him become a legend.
Here are the best 10 Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate in his career.
Honorable Mention: Gary Neville
Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo had a similar career during their youth, with the two of them playing together for Sporting and eventually at a national level, too, when Nani made his debut for Portugal national team in 2006.
They were reunited in Manchester United thanks to Sir Alex Ferguson, creating a very good duo that only lasted two seasons, when Cristiano decided to take his talents to Real Madrid. Nevertheless, they’re both Portuguese and that has let them share touches in the national side, being both the leaders of the team that won the EURO 2016.
9. Sergio Ramos
Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos were the most important pieces of Real Madrid during the time they spent together in Santiago Bernabeu. They both were the spinal dorse of the team and took it to win several trophies throughout their best years.
Everybody knows how important Ramos is for Real Madrid and Cristiano credited the defender in several occasions. It’s very present in football fans’ memory the time Ramos tied the 2016 Champions League Finals against Atletico and other times when Ramos and his ability to use his head to score saved Madrid, as well as his defensive talents.
8. Angel Di Maria
Di Maria became one of Cristiano’s favorite teammates right after he landed in Madrid from Benfica by Jose Mourinho’s request. At that time, Mourinho planned on using Cristiano in a more attacking position in order to boost the Portuguese’s goals.
That was an opportunity for Di Maria to be the best assistant CR7 could ask for. He started playing on the left wing and surely had a great time creating chances for Cristiano and assisting him, like the time he found the Portuguese forward's head in the middle of the area that gave Madrid the W in the 2011 Copa del Rey final. That was a main example of the chemistry they had on the pitch, but that was abruptly ended when Di Maria decided to leave Madrid.
7. Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes was considered the best midfielder of his generation by very talented players such as Zinedine Zidane, Xabi Alonso, and Xavi, and Cristiano had the honor to play with him, or you could say it was the other way around.
Anyway, Scholes was a very talented midfielder whose crosses found any player no matter where they were with incredible accuracy. He served a lot of chances to Ronaldo throughout his years in Manchester and helped the Portuguese and his side to unlock hard-fought games, as he did during the 2008 Champions League semi-finals in front of Barcelona at Old Trafford. There is no doubt that Scholes was a huge part of both Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo’s success.
6. Ryan Giggs
Ronaldo paired up with two of the best right-wings in history during his career and here we have the first one. Ryan Giggs, the highest capped player in the Premier League history, created a great association with Cristiano, as both players were unstoppable, in their own ways, through both flanks, creating a lot of chances for strikers and themselves.
The Giggs-Ronaldo partnership certainly had impressive results at Old Trafford, with Giggs becoming the most honored player in the history of English football with his 13 Premier Leagues, two UEFA Champions League and more while Ronaldo finished his time in Manchester as one of the best players in the history of the club.
5. Luis Figo
Luis Figo is the other right-wing who had the chance to play alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, even though Figo did it when Ronaldo was still very young. However, that didn’t prevent both players from starting a very good relationship both inside and outside the pitch that took Portugal to have great runs in important tournaments.
Together, Ronaldo and Figo took Portugal to play the UEFA EURO Finals in 2004, losing the game against Greece in a tournament they hosted, and also the World Cup semi-finals in 2006, where they lost against eventual runners-up France. Figo is considered the first mentor Ronaldo had in his career besides Sir Alex Ferguson; perhaps the reason Cristiano is the footballer he is now is because of the advises he received from Figo during his youth.
4. Mario Mandzukic
Albeit they have played only one season together, it is fair to say that Mario Mandzukic is one of the best teammates Cristiano Ronaldo has had in his career. The Croatian striker created a great duo with the Portuguese that have brought Juventus a lot of joy.
At the beginning of the season, it was rumored that Mandzukic was going to be relegated to the bench at the expense of Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, but ultimately, the Argentinian striker was the one who watched the most games on the sidelines. Mandzukic and Ronaldo showed great chemistry on the pitch and now it doesn’t look like Juventus are going to try to change that.
3. Karim Benzema
Now we’re talking about the best of the best. Although Karim Benzema was more famous for all the criticism he gained in the last couple of seasons from Real Madrid supporters, the Frenchman remains as one of the best footballers who had the chance to play with Cristiano Ronaldo.
These two created a very scary duo for Los Blancos ever since they landed in Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2009. Cristiano’s number were huge at some point of his tenure in Madrid and that was in big part thanks to Benzema; the former Lyon player had a very good connection with the Portuguese star and the things they did together in Madrid are the prime example of that.
2. Wayne Rooney
Talking about lethal duos, here we have another player who displayed the best of his game while partnering with 5-time Ballon d'Or winner. Wayne Rooney became the perfect partner for the current Juventus player during his days in Manchester. Even though their relationship wasn't the best one after the 2006 World Cup, under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tutelage, these two players learned how to love each other and that was the best thing that could happen to Man. Utd.
This duo had impressive achievements together. As Red Devils, they led Manchester United to win the Premier League title three years in a row as well as that famous 2008 Champions League trophy they won dramatically against Chelsea in Moscow. When it comes to strikers, there wasn't and there won’t probably be a more perfect fit for Cristiano Ronaldo than Wayne Rooney.
At some point of his career, Ronaldo stated: “I miss playing with Rooney. Maybe we will play together again one day,” so you know how important they were for each other’s career.
1. Marcelo Vieira
This comes as no surprise. Who else did you think was going to be here? Marcelo is Cristiano Ronaldo’s best teammate ever. This is something odd, though, as they didn’t like each other at the beginning of their careers; they got involved in a heated brawl during a Portugal-Brazil exhibition match and their relationship was expected to be anything but good in Spain.
Luckily for them and Real Madrid, that issue was easily solved when they became teammates. This story was one of the best for Real Madrid in the last couple of seasons; the way these two combined while attacking and the chances to score they create for each other made any other duo look like garbage. Marcelo is so important in CR7’s career that the latter even reportedly suggested Juventus sign the Brazilian wing-back this summer.