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Why is Cristiano Ronaldo called 'Penaldo'? Juventus star's nickname explained

23:00 GMT 27/02/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus
The former Real Madrid forward often gets called it on social media – but what does it mean and how accurate is it?

Five Champions League titles, three Premier League wins and five Ballons d'Or – and yet, there is a certain aspect of Cristiano Ronaldo's goalscoring that is routinely called into question.

The term 'Penaldo' seems to pop up whenever the Portugal superstar scores a goal from the penalty spot, which is often. Due to his former Real Madrid credentials, some Barcelona-leaning fans are partial to the rather uncomplimentary nickname, which suggests that they think that Ronaldo scores most of his goals from penalties.

A portmanteau of the word 'penalty' and 'Ronaldo', the term proposes that since a large portion of the striker's goals are spot kicks, they are not 'true' goals.

"You have to look at the statistics," the Juventus ace has said about the moniker. "How many goals have I scored for Real Madrid? And they are not all penalties.

"I will score as many as I can - 600, 700, as many as I can. They will all be there for people to see.

"And anyone who wants to can go to YouTube to see all the goals I have scored..."

Ronaldo scored his 100th and 101st penalties of his entire senior career in January 2018 against Valencia in La Liga. He has since taken over from Paulo Dybala as penalty taker at Juventus, despite coach Massimiliano Allegri's statement that the two would share the duties.

How many penalties has Ronaldo scored?

While at Real Madrid, Ronaldo scored 450 goals in all competitions with 79 of those being penalties – which means that 17.38 per cent of his goals have come from the spot.

Games Played*   Goals   Goals (penalties)   % of goals as penalties
438 450 79 17.38%

*At Real Madrid in all competitions.

Competition* Penalties Taken   Goals (penalties)  
La Liga 72 61
Champions League 16 14
Copa del Rey 3 3
FIFA Club World Cup 1 1
TOTAL 92 79

*At Real Madrid.

Though Ronaldo has scored many of his career's goals from the spot, penalty taking itself requires a great deal of skill and technique to execute successfully. Being able to keep your cool in a 1v1 situation against the goalkeeper in one of the most high-pressure moments in the sport.

Ronaldo's stats suggest he's one of the most accurate and reliable penalty takers in modern football. He has an 85.90% success rate with his spot kicks, scoring 79 penalties from 92 taken.

Ronaldo's penalty record is significantly better record than that of his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, who is the designated penalty taker for club and country (while active with Argentina). In La Liga, Messi has taken 90 penalties for Barcelona with 68 of those successful, sporting a success rate of 75.56%.

Player* Penalties Taken   Goals (penalties)   % Success
Cristiano Ronaldo 92 79 85.90%
Lionel Messi 90 68 75.56%

*During La Liga in all competitions. Correct as of February 27, 2019.