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Cristiano Ronaldo is the Champions League assist king

Cristiano Ronaldo is the Champions League assist king
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Another incredible stat Cristiano Ronaldo stat has come to light showing that the Juventus star has made the most assists in Champions League history.

The jury has been out on Cristiano Ronaldo following Juventus’ Coppa Italia final against Napoli, where fans branded him as ‘selfish’ for not taking a penalty in the shootout defeat on Wednesday.

Juventus wanted to save the best for last. Things didn’t go to plan, though, when Paulo Dybala and Danilo missed from the 12-yard spot, with Napoli scoring all four of their attempts to win. It not only denied Maurizio Sarri a first major domestic trophy, but left Ronaldo in hot waters.

Critics have slammed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner; lambasting his performances since the restart and inability to tee up his teammates.

For sure, Ronaldo loves to score the goals. He’s the best in the business and the one Juventus rely on to find the back of the net. It’s what forces him to fire in more shots than average. The Italians don’t have many other decent options, do they?

But to say that Ronaldo is selfish for not assisting or helping his teammates more is harsh. The Portuguese is tasked with scoring the goals, not creating chances. All 11 players on the team have their own roles to fill, which is what Cristiano tries to do.

He’s not a glory-seeker, just somebody burdened with having to provide most of the goals for his team.

Look at Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

He’s had Luis Suarez, Neymar, Samuel Eto’o, David Villa, Thierry Henry and so on for teammates. All of them are brilliant goalscorers in their own right, meaning Messi hasn’t always needed to score.

Real Madrid, in comparison, have only had Karim Benzema to regularly chip in the goals since Ronaldo’s exit.

Champions League assists

So is it fair to look down on Ronaldo in this respect? Just one look at his stats for club and country tells us a very different story.

The forward has managed 626 goals and 219 assists in 838 games for Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

On the international stage for Portugal, meanwhile, Ronaldo has scored 99 goals and assisted 41 times in 164 appearances. This brings his career total up to 725 goals and 260 assists.

For a man who apparently only shots all the time, 260 assists is incredible. It’s more than what some of the greatest assist-makers of all-time accomplished in their club careers, such as Xavi Hernandez (184) and Andres Iniesta (153).

Furthermore, Ronaldo has made the most assists in Champions League history.

According to UEFA, the Portuguese star has assisted his teammates on 40 occasions in Europe’s biggest club competition. That’s five more than Messi and a further four more than Ryan Giggs’ tally.

1Cristiano Ronaldo40
2Lionel Messi35
3Ryan Giggs31
4Xavi Hernandez30
5Andres Iniesta29
6Angel Di Maria28
7Karim Benzema27
8Cesc Fabregas26
9Luis Suarez26
10Zlatan Ibrahimovic26

And as many of you are probably already aware, Ronaldo is also the record goalscorer in Champions League history.

1Cristiano Ronaldo129
2Lionel Messi114
3Raul Gonzalez71
4Karim Benzema64
5Robert Lewandowski64
6Ruud van Nistelrooy60
7Andriy Shevchenko59
8Thierry Henry51
9Filippo Inzaghi50
10Alfredo Di Stefano49

So what do you think? Have the critics been unfair on Ronaldo? Let us know here.