Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo in training.

Cristiano Ronaldo's top team-mates XI

Wednesday 08 April 2020 07:00

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best footballers to ever grace the game, and is perhaps the sport’s most recognisable global icon.

During his incredible career Cristiano has achieved success with Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and current employers Juventus, as well as on the international stage with Portugal.

In that time, the 35-year-old has played with some supremely talented team-mates, but which 11 players has Cristiano lined up alongside most often?
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Iker Casillas (228 games with Ronaldo)

The recently retired stopper is one of the most dependable goalkeepers from the last 20 years and played for Real Madrid over 700 times, before moving to Ronaldo’s homeland in 2015 to represent Porto. Iker Casillas is also one of a handful of goalies to captain a side to World Cup glory, something he did with Spain in 2010.

The goalkeeper with the next highest number of appearances is Edwin van der Sar, who played alongside Ronaldo 167 times at United.

John O’Shea (215), Rio Ferdinand (221), Sergio Ramos (339), Pepe (321), Marcelo (332)

Cristiano’s five-man defence comprises a mixture of former United and Real Madrid team-mates. During his time at Old Trafford, the attacker lined up with Rio Ferdinand more any other player, while, with 215 joint appearances, John O’Shea also makes the team. The ever-dependable Irishman could play in a host of positions, but will slot in at right-back in this side.

In the heart of defence, the accomplished Sergio Ramos was always going to be in this team, and, having shared a pitch with Ronaldo 339 times, he can boast the second-highest total on this list. Fellow centre-back Pepe is the only Portuguese representative in the XI and the pair both played in the final of Euro 2016, when Portugal beat France 1-0.

At left-back, Marcelo is the only non-European player in the side. The pair usually combined with devastating affect during their time at Real Madrid and jointly assisted each other on 33 occasions during their nine seasons together at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Xabi Alonso (208), Luka Modric (222), Ryan Giggs (204)

Good luck to any opposition facing this midfield three: they’d never see the ball!

Cristiano became pretty used to locking horns with Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric during their respective spells in the Premier League, before the trio became team-mates in the Spanish capital. Alonso won silverware in England, Spain and Germany during his career, while Modric is the only player in this team who has won the Ballon d’Or, something Ronaldo has of course managed on five occasions.

With 204 appearances alongside Cristiano, Ryan Giggs actually has the lowest tally in this XI. The Welshman played with the-now Juventus star on his United debut in 2003, and is the oldest player to make Ronaldo’s highly esteemed team.
Wazza is the fourth Red to make Cristiano's team.
Karim Benzema (342), Wayne Rooney (206)

Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney’s almost-telepathic relationship was one of the driving factors behind United’s success in the late 2000s, and the pair spearheaded the Reds’ attack during our victorious 2008 Champions Leaue final triumph over Chelsea.

Karim Benzema is the final name in this outstanding team and the French striker has played with Ronaldo more than any other player in his career. From their 342 joint appearances together, the pair netted an incredible 522 goals and can both claim a spot in Real Madrid’s all-time top 10 scorers chart.

Casillas; O'Shea, Ferdinand, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Modric, Giggs; Benzema, Rooney.
Schloesy just missed out on Ronaldo's fantastic side.


Former Spain defender Alvaro Arbeloa was 12th on the list of most appearances with Cristiano, meaning he hasn’t quite made this XI. The full-back shared a pitch with the attacker 201 times, just three less than Giggs.

Ronaldo’s former Real team-mates Raphael Varane (199), Isco (188) and Toni Kroos (170) also just missed out. Sami Khedira (173) and Gonzalo Higuian (172) - who currently share a dressing room with Cristiano at Juventus, but played with the Portugal star at Real Madrid as well - have to settle for a spot on the bench. The only United player who falls into the criteria of being a substitute is Paul Scholes. The midfielder lined up alongside Ronaldo on 183 occasions.

Stats courtesy of

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