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5 Big-Game Players That Turn Up When It Matters Most

Ronaldo with his unique celebration
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One thing that separates a talented footballer and a great one is the ability to step up in the big games and perform under immense pressure. Here’s our list of a few iconic players that have played a crucial part for their club & country in big games, who deliver time and again, no matter what the situation is.

5. Sergio Ramos


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The captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, Sergio Ramos is regarded as one of the best defenders the sport has seen and has won every possible trophy a footballer can, in his long career, including the FIFA World Cup. With Real Madrid, whenever the famous front three could not step up, it was him who bailed them out of difficult situations. One of his best performances came in the Champions League final against rivals Atletico Madrid in which the Spaniard’s header took the game into extra time where Real then delivered the blow to Atletico. Ramos also holds the record for the most goals by a defender in the knockout stages of the Champions League (7).

4. Andres Iniesta


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While many would have Lionel Messi in this list for his heroics at Barcelona, we’ve picked Andres Iniesta as the man for big occasions. Arguably one of the greatest midfielders ever, Iniesta was simply majestic with his passes through the middle of the pitch and with his vision. Barcelona and Spain’s strikers were always a part of the golden boot race and all that credit goes to Iniesta whose creativity fed them beautifully. Let’s roll back to the 2010 World Cup where Spain took on the Netherlands, in perhaps the biggest game of Iniesta’s career. After playing tough, gritty football for almost two hours, Iniesta was the one who broke the deadlock as he thumped the ball past the Dutch goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg, and brought the World Cup to Spain.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo


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Cristiano Ronaldo’s achievements over the years have been astonishing, especially in the Champions League. He is one of the best strikers the competition has ever seen and is the top scorer in the history of the Champions League (including the European Cup). It was Ronaldo’s 97th-minute penalty against his current club Juventus which took Real Madrid through to the semis in the 17-18 season…it was his Hat-trick for Juventus against Atletico Madrid which turned the tie around and knocked Atletico out…and it was his unbelievable passion and will that led Portugal to claim its first major tournament title, with a win at the Euros in 2016.

2. Steven Gerrard


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Steven Gerrard is an iconic member even in this list and is very well known for his contributions in the big games. The former Liverpool and England midfielder and Captain, is the only player to score in a FA Cup Final, League Cup Final, Champions League Final, and the UEFA Super Cup Final. One of his most memorable performances of course came in THAT Champions League Final against AC Milan where his motivation and constant influence on the pitch turned the game around. Another Stevie special would have to be against West Ham United in the FA Cup final, where he scored two worldies to take the game to penalties. Many Liverpool fans regard this final as the “Gerrard Finals”.

1. Didier Drogba


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Didier Drogba is one of the greatest stickers the Premier League has seen and his contribution to Chelsea football is incredible. The Ivorian is considered by many to be the biggest big-game player in the football world. The striker found the back of the net in almost every big game he has played in his career, scoring four FA Cup final goals, two League Cup goals, and the most famous one, the UCL Final goal, which was a last-minute equalizer against Bayern Munich, which Chelsea then won 4–3 on penalties after extra time with Drogba named Man of the Match.


[Image Credit: Cristiano Ronaldo]