Cristiano Ronaldo's goal-scoring tally ended this year with 42 in total, 31 of which came in the Premier League, and 8 of which were in
Eric Cantona (1993 – 1994)
Perhaps the greatest foreign player to ever grace this country, Monsieur Cantona became the only man in Premier League history to win back-to-back titles with two different clubs when he left
Jurgen Klinnsman (1994 – 1995)
Joining Spurs with a reputation as a diver, the media instantly took a disliking to Klinnsman coming to this country, with one Guardian hack even penning an article called ‘Why I Hate Jürgen Klinsmann.’ His first goal however was celebrated by a piss-taking fake dive, and the rest is history. More than 20 goals followed in the league, along with Tottenham Player of the Year and PWA Writers Player of the Year awards, plus the biggest accolade of all: the publication of a ‘Why I Love Jürgen Klinsmann’ rebuttal article by that same Guardian writer.
Alan Shearer (1995 – 1996)
After a season where Shearer bagged 34 goals in 42 games to carry Blackburn to the title, his true revelation came as
Gianfranco Zola (1996 – 1997)
During his first four years at
Robert Pires (2001 – 2002)
A year after joining Arsenal, Pires really came into his own. He led the Premier League assist charts, and was voted both FWA Footballer of the Year and Arsenal's player of the season despite missing the last two months through injury. Arsenal won the league title, propelled by Pires, Henry and Ljungberg in their prime, but it was Pires’ attacking play and cracking goals that were the highlights.
Thierry Henry (2002 – 2003)
In the season where Arsenal were undefeated and dubbed the ‘Invincibles,’ Henry was the talisman, leading the league in assists (23) and netting 33 times himself. In total, he finished with 46 goals in all competitions, which is a touch impressive to say the least. The fact that many of the goals were absolute crackers is testament to his confidence and unparalleled shooting ability.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy (2002 – 2003)
Having scored 23 goals in his 32-game debut season the year before, van Nistelrooy really pushed on this season as United tried to keep up with the blistering pace of Arsenal. In this incredible year, the Dutchman scored 44 goals in 52 games in all competitions; 12 Champions League goals in 10 games and 25 goals in 34 Premier League games just to start. The domestic tally also impressively included three hat-tricks, and he ended the season with an eight-game scoring streak. See the year for yourself here -
It’s a close call then, as all the aforementioned efforts were pretty special to say the least. Personally, the Shearer, Pires and Henry seasons are the ones that stand out in the memory, but the sheer quality of the goals of Ronaldo this season is the factor that elevates it perhaps to the very top of the pile. His willingness to entertain and do tricks is admirable so dare we say that, yes, this was indeed the greatest individual season from an English-based player. His target next year? 50 goals in all competitions. Pretty frightening.
Agree? Disagree? Don’t understand? Well let us know in the handy comment box below!
P.S. Check back later in the week for Part Two, where we assess Ronaldo’s season against some of the true greats from Europe in the modern day, and also back through the annals of history…trust me, it’s really good, much better than Part One…