Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed a stellar career at the very pinnacle of football for a little over two decades now, having collected nearly all of the domestic, international and individual accolades a footballer can attain.
From his early days at Manchester United where he morphed from a pimpled show pony into an unstoppable goal-scoring juggernaut, through his iconic performances for his country across several major tournaments, to becoming indisputably one of the finest footballers of all time at Real Madrid, Ronaldo has been attired in some truly classic kits.
So, here are five of the very best.
Ronaldo's Top 5 Career Shirts
2002/03 Sporting CP Home
Where it all began for Cristiano Ronaldo way back in 2002 when those five Ball d’Ors were just a distant glint. The Portuguese winger spent a single season in the Sporting first team, scoring thrice in the league in 25 appearances, before a fortuitous pre-season game against Manchester United in 2003 sealed his move to England.
The kit he donned back then – with the unfamiliar 28 on the back, no less – followed the famous template from which they have seldom deviated. Since 1906, Sporting have played in green, white and gold, traditionally arrayed in stripes, and the 2002/03 shirt is no different. For the most part, the gold accents were replaced with black to tie in with the shirt sponsor, which, with its angular lines, sits snugly within the overall visage.
Notwithstanding their own status as a giant of Portugal, given the even more gargantuan football clubs Cristiano Ronaldo has played for during his career, there is a special place for the green, white and gold of Sporting CP.
2004-06 Manchester United Away Shirt
In an era where Manchester United were threatening to slip from their lofty pedestal, this blue and red number was seldom used in any of the club’s sporadic pursuits of glory; red was donned for the successful 2004 FA Cup and 2006 League Cup finals, while black was the choice for the penalty shootout loss to Arsenal in the 2005 FA Cup final.
Nonetheless, it remains a classic of its era and, as is exceedingly rare these days, was in use for two consecutive campaigns. Like the home variations of the time, the design was minimal, featuring rich swathes of colour broken only by minor trim and accent work on the sleeves and hems. Durable, too, they are a common collectors’ item and are one of United’s last shirts to feature the old Premier League lettering.
Remarkably, it is a shirt in which Ronaldo never actually scored a goal for the 13-time Premier League champions, although he was wearing it when he performed the rabona cross for Louis Saha against Sheffield United that has been played constantly as part of his highlight reel for the last two decades.
Euro 2004 Portugal Home Shirt
Utilising Nike’s now legendary Total 90 2004 template, Portugal embarked on their Euro 2004 campaign in style. With the iconic number 7 shirt occupied by the equally iconic Luis Figo, Ronaldo settled for 17 in a tournament that very much became about him and club team-mate Wayne Rooney, both of whom took the Euros by storm.
Featuring subtle red diamond pane patterning, gold piping and green trim, the Portugal variation perfectly blends the nation’s three primary colours into a shirt that is immediately recognisable.
That it was deployed during a home tournament in which the Portuguese surprisingly succumbed to a resolute Greece side in a final of ultimate attrition has done little to diminish its unwavering popularity over the years – whether emblazoned with the likes of Maniche, Figo or Ronaldo on the rear.
2007/08 Manchester United Home Shirt
Cristiano Ronaldo’s epochal shirt; the one that began the era characterised by his ascension to goal-scoring godhood. In years prior, he had been prodigious but profligate, exciting but erratic. In this shirt, however, he terrorised teams small and large, those within Britain and those beyond its borders.
After six years of Vodafone, Manchester United’s shirt sponsorship rights had been bought by US finance corporation, AIG, and their plain, serif logo contributed to a shirt that was wonderful in practically every aspect. Gone was the thin, almost flimsy material of 2002-2005 and the heavy material of 2006/07 to be replaced with a much more luxurious offering that complemented the rich red of its palette. Any superfluous trim was removed and the angular collar of the season prior gave way to a graceful red swoop.
Like the season Ronaldo enjoyed while attired in this particular shirt, wherein he scored 42 goals en route to success in both the Premier League and the Champions League, the Manchester United 2007/08 shirt is exceptional.
2015/16 Real Madrid Home Shirt
Real Madrid shirts during the era where Ronaldo ruled over the court of the Bernabeu were something of a mixed bag, yet the 2015/16 edition was essentially as close to ultimate Los Blancos perfection as Adidas had ever managed before or since.
Though in previous years the German shirt manufacturer had been guilty of detracting from the pristine white for which Real shirts are renowned, the 2015/16 shirt stripped back all the surplus detailing. The result was a crisp, sleek and timeless garment as Real Madrid secured their 11th Champions League crown against fierce intercity rivals Atlético.
On a personal level, Ronaldo plundered 51 goals – almost double the tally of Real Madrid’s next most-prolific goal-scorer in Karim Benzema – and was duly rewarded with his fourth of five Ballon d’Ors ahead of a certain Lionel Messi.
I hope you've enjoyed out look through Ronaldo's best shirts, you can see all the shirts I have for sale with Ronaldo on here. Hopefully one day, as a United fan, I can afford to get myself a match worn 07/08 Ronaldo shirt.