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Has Cristiano Ronaldo ever played in the Europa League? Record and stats for Man United star in European competition

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Manchester United will play Barcelona in the Europa League knockout playoff in order to reach the last-16 of the competition.

The Red Devils finished second in their Europa League group behind Real Sociedad which saw them placed into a draw against those teams who finished third in this season’s Champions League group stages.

It means there will be no Champions League football for Ronaldo this season but Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer will return to Spain for the two-legged match against Barca.

This begs the question: what is the United number seven’s record in Europe’s secondary competition?

The Sporting News takes a look at whether the 37-year-old has featured in the tournament and examines his record in Europe overall.

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Has Cristiano Ronaldo ever played in the Europa League?

Ronaldo has played in the competition before — albeit only briefly.

At the age of just 17, Ronaldo was involved in the first round of the 2002/03 UEFA Cup, in which Sporting CP faced Partizan. The Serbian side were 3-1 winners in Portugal in the first leg before a thrilling 3-3 draw after extra-time in the return fixture saw them progress 6-4 on aggregate, with Ronaldo’s assist for Vitali Kutuzov’s goal ultimately in vain.

Ever since, the Portugal international has played in every season of the UEFA Champions League and become one of the competition’s greatest players. He leads the all-time goalscoring standings with 140 and has won the famous trophy five times.

In the 2022/23 season he’s already scored twice in the Europa League, bagging against FC Sheriff home and away in the group stages.

What is Cristiano Ronaldo’s Champions League record?

  • 5 time UEFA Champions League winner (2008, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018).

  • Competition all-time top-goalscorer — 140 goals.

  • Most goals in a single season in the competition — 17 (2013/14).

  • Most assists in Champions League history — 42.

Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the greatest player in the history of the Champions League, managing to win the trophy on five separate occasions.

The 37-year-old first won the competition in 2007/08 for Manchester United where he scored the opening goal in the final against Chelsea, finishing top of the competition scoring charts overall with eight goals scored throughout the group and knockout phases.

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Ronaldo then moved to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, going on to achieve an almost superhuman four Champions League triumphs in five attempts between 2013 and 2018. In each success, he was instrumental for Los Blancos, scoring big goals in crucial matches including against Atletico Madrid in the 2013/14 final alongside a brace in the 2016/17 showpiece against Juventus.

In the competition as a whole, his exploits have seen him become the all-time leading goalscorer, netting 140 across eighteen years in the famous tournament. Ronaldo also holds the record for assists in the competition, registering 42 in total.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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