Cristiano Ronaldo will sport the number 9 at Real. He mentioned that he wants to emulate Alfredo Di Stefano, the legend who wore the same number. This is a noticeable turnaround from his timorous debut at Man Utd where he initially refused to wear the number 7 jersey as it belonged to George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, and David Beckham because it would invite unwanted comparisons to these greats. It was only on the insistence of Sir Alex that he changed his mind.
Lets see where he ends up on the list of other Real’s other notable number 9’s
A list that includes Pahíño, Di Stefano, Santillana, Zamorano, Morientes, Ronaldo.
Player Years Total Appearances Goals
Alfredo Di Stefano: 1953- 1964 396 307
Carlos Santillana: 1971- 1988 643 290
Pahíño: 1948- 1953 144 127
Ronaldo: 2002-2006 176 104
Ivan Zamorano: 1992-1996 173 101
Fernando Morientes: 1997- 2005 234 100
We can see that Santillana’s career is remarkable for its longevity but not particularly goal scoring rate; those honours go to Pahíño. Di Stefano had both. Both Zamorano and Ronaldo have similar numbers in their briefer Real careers while Morientes stay was punctuated by injury problems but he still managed to score a century of goals.
Lets go into Cristiano Ronaldo’s Man Utd numbers to get a sense of perspective: He spent six years in Man Utd which is a good length of time to extrapolate where he might be in the future. We also take into account that it took him two years to really hit goal scoring form. His total output is:
2003-2009 292 118
Without the first two years:
2005-2009 202 103
Looking at these numbers one gets the sense he will never be Di Stefano. He, In fact, might end up between Pahíño and Ronaldo at the end of his six year contract. Which might be good enough but the song and dance show at the Bernabeu to unveil their £80 million golden goose today means they expect much much more.
The other point that really leaps out is Real’s number 9’s have had extra-ordinary success in European competitions scoring goals. Cristiano Ronaldo’s European output in 55 Man Utd appearances tallied 16 goals. If we remove his first two years, it gives us 16 goals in 42 appearances. Compare that with Di Stefano’s prodigious 49 goals in 58 appearances and Santillana’s 47 goals in 87 appearances. Even Ronaldo and Zamorano have better goal scoring rates with 15 goals in 36 appearances and 14 goals in 21 appearances, respectively. It is because of numbers like these that Real have managed to win nine European championships.