Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest football players to ever grace a football pitch. Aside from winning multiple Ballon d’Or awards and helping the teams he has played for to numerous victories, he possesses a remarkable ability to jump incredibly high to head the ball into the goal.
In this article, I research the top jump heights achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo, and what games he managed these in. I also uncover another five players who join Ronaldo in jumping high – including the highest jump in football.
|#5 Portugal v Wales||2.42 meters (7.9 feet)||6 July 2016|
|#4 Real Madrid vs Osasuna||2.44m (8 feet)||6 November 2011|
|#3 Juventus vs Torino||2.47m (8.1 feet)||3 May 2019|
|#2 Sampdoria vs Juventus||2.56m (8.4 feet)||18 December 2019|
|#1 Real Madrid vs Manchester United||2.93m (9.6 feet)||14 February 2013|
#5 Portugal vs Wales
Euro 2016 Semi-Final, 6 July 2016, Groupama Stadium, Lyon
During the Euro 2016 semi-final match between Portugal and Wales, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning header that helped them secure a spot in the final – which Portugal went on to win. The goal was a testament to Ronaldo’s incredible jumping ability, as he soared above the Welsh defenders to meet the ball and power it into the back of the net.
The goal came in the 50th minute of the match, with Ronaldo breaking the deadlock with a vital goal for Portugal. The move started with a cross from Raphael Guerreiro on the left flank, which found Ronaldo, who leapt into the air without any real contest as the defenders struggled to match his height, sending a powerful header past Welsh goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey.
What made his goal even more impressive was the height that Ronaldo was able to reach. According to data from the match, Ronaldo jumped an incredible 2.42 meters (7.9 feet) in the air to score the goal, making it one of the highest jumps ever recorded in a football match.
Ronaldo’s incredible athleticism and skill have made him one of the greatest players in football history. His headed goal against Wales at Euro 2016 will always be remembered as one of his most iconic moments on the pitch.
#4 Real Madrid vs Osasuna
La Liga, 6 November 2011, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
In a 7-1 victory for Los Blancos, it’s no surprise that Cristiano Ronaldo hit a hat-trick to steal the news headlines. He opened the scoring for Madrid in the 22nd minute, getting his head onto the end of a cross from Angel Di Maria.
His second entry onto the score sheet came from the penalty spot in the 54th minute after an Osasuna player was sent off, but it’s his third goal that fans will remember.
Just a few minutes after the penalty, Ronaldo was on the move in the box again, securing his hat trick. He rose what is believed to be 2.44m (8 feet) and got on the end of another cross to float a lovely header over the Osasuna goalkeeper.
Ronaldo’s header was a display of his amazing jumping ability, as he was able to rise above the Osasuna defenders to connect with the ball. It was also a testament to his exceptional aerial prowess, which has been a feature of his game throughout his career.
#3 Juventus vs Torino
Serie A, 3 May 2019, Allianz Stadium, Turin
In May 2019, Cristiano Ronaldo scored an unbelievable goal against Torino. The goal was significant for Ronaldo as it was his 100th career-headed goal – a remarkable achievement for any footballer.
The goal came in the 84th minute of the Serie A match in the derby between Juventus and Torino, with Torino leading 1-0 after Sas Lukic scored the first goal.
Alex Sandro picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the box and whipped in a cross with pinpoint accuracy towards the middle of the goal. Ronaldo rose above the defender, who had lost the Portuguese player for a split second, and with some hang time in the air, he powered a header into the net, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance.
The goal was not only significant for Ronaldo’s personal milestone, but Ronaldo once again showed his leaping ability as this jump clocked in at 2.47m (8.1 feet).
#2 Sampdoria vs Juventus
Serie A, 18 December 2019, Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Another goal from Serie A is in second place, and to a lot of people, this is the best-headed goal of all time. This is hard to argue with, when you see how remarkable the jump is, the angle at which Ronaldo meets the ball, and how long he’s able to stay in the air.
Claudio Ranieri, the Sampdoria manager at the time, remarked after the 2-1 loss, “Ronaldo did something that you see in the NBA. He was up in the air for an hour and a half.”
And it is hard to understand how he could leap into the air like he did and get onto the end of a cross from Alex Sandro to score just before half-time.
Ronaldo stood at the back post and jumped way above the Sampdoria defender, and it’s believed he stayed in the air for a good 1.5 seconds, as the crossed ball came in from the left-hand side. Ronaldo jumped a staggering 2.56m (8.4 feet) to fire in the winner.
Seeing the goal in slow motion is almost unbelievable.
The goal will never be forgotten, and it’s a testament to Ronaldo’s ability, both in the air and on the pitch. With his work rate and drive to do the unthinkable, and approaching the age of 35 at the time, he still proved why he’s considered one of the greatest footballers of all time.
#1 Real Madrid vs Manchester United
Champions League Round of 16, 14 February 2013, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
After Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United in 2009 following six years at the club, this was the first meeting with his old boss Sir Alex Ferguson. It didn’t take long for Manchester United to open the scoring, with Danny Welbeck scoring a header to make it 1-0.
Ronaldo, as he regularly does, stole the headlines once again with a goal that will go down in history as the highest jump ever recorded by the player.
In the game’s 30th minute, Ronaldo was positioned perfectly at the back post to receive a cross from Di Maria. With an incredible jump, he propelled himself into the air and seemed to hang in suspension before making a powerful header into the goal.
Ronaldo is judged to have jumped 2.93m (9.6 feet), which is astonishing. It was an outstanding goal and once again showed what Ronaldo is capable of, in the air and in terms of game-changing ability.
The game ended with a 1-1 draw, but Ronaldo once again stole the show at Old Trafford in the second leg – as he scored the winning goal to take Real Madrid through 3-2 on aggregate.
Other Notable Football Player Jumps
During my research, I discovered five more players that have an incredible ability to launch themselves into the air and defy gravity. Their jump heights are simply out of this world!
Let’s take a look at the top 5 jump heights that have left fans amazed and opponents scrambling for cover.
|Zlatan Ibrahimovic||Inter Milan vs AC Milan||2.53 m (8.3 feet)|
|Victor Osimhen||Spezia vs Napoli||2.58 m (8.47 feet)|
|Fikayo Tomori||Juventus vs AC Milan||2.61 m (8.5 feet)|
|Bevis Mugabi||Ross County vs Motherwell||2.62 m (8.6 feet)|
|Youssef En-Nesyri||Morocco vs Portugal||2.78 m (9.1 feet)|
Inter Milan vs AC Milan, Feb 2020, San Siro
During a Milan derby in February 2020, Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up AC Milan’s first goal. He leapt to almost the same height as Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible jump for the previously mentioned goal against Sampdoria.
The towering Swede soared 2.53 meters (8.3 feet) into the air, which was impressive given that he is even taller than Ronaldo. The fact that he nearly matched Ronaldo’s jump height was truly remarkable.
Spezia vs Napoli, Feb 2023, Stadio Alberto Picco
During Napoli’s impressive 3-0 victory over Spezia on 7 February 2023, Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen shattered a record to become the new jump-king of Serie A.
Osimhen’s headed goal against the Little Eagles at the Stadio Alberto Picco is now considered one of the highest jumps in football history. In the 68th minute, he soared above goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski to double Napoli’s lead.
The striker jumped a remarkable 2.58 metres, reaching the ball before Dragowski managed to clear it, and headed the ball home for a goal. Osimhen’s leaping header not only secured a crucial victory for his team but also secured his place in football history.
Juventus vs AC Milan, 9 May 2021, Allianz Stadium
In Milan’s 3-0 victory against Juventus in May 2021, Fikayo Tomori, the AC Milan defender, broke Cristiano Ronaldo’s record for the highest jump in Serie A.
Tomori leapt to an incredible height of 2.61 metres (8.5 feet), soaring over keeper Giorgio Chiellini.
Ross County vs Motherwell, Jan 2021, Global Energy Stadium
In a Scottish Premiership match against Ross County in February 2021, Bevis Mugabi, the Ugandan international defender for Motherwell, demonstrated his aerial prowess by scoring a towering header.
His impressive jump of 2.62 metres (8.6 feet) allowed him to out-jump other players in the box and score the goal, leaving the Ross County keeper with no chance to save it.
FIFA World Cup 2022 Quarter Final, Morocco vs Portugal, Dec 2022, Al Thumada
Youssef En-Neseyri pulled off an extraordinary feat during the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match against Portugal in 2022 with a stunning, gravity-defying header.
The Moroccan striker leapt high into the air, out-jumping the Portuguese goalkeeper Diogo Costa to head home the decisive goal that secured Morocco a 1-0 victory.
What made this goal even more remarkable was the incredible height of El-Neseyri’s jump. He soared to a height of 2.78 meters (9.1 feet) – making it the highest jump in football history.
It was a truly memorable goal that will go down in World Cup folklore.
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