September 2023 Update: Midway through refreshing content and checking out the card lists, there’s nothing of note to report for CR7. He’s now scoring goals at an incredible rate in Saudi Arabia, and has broken multiple records over the last 12 months. Values for his rookie cards have also continued to rise over the past few years.
There’s arguably no better soccer investment option than Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portugal captain holds the records for most goals and assists in the Champions League, most goals in the European Championship, and the most international goals (109).
Here’s a list with five of the very best Cristiano Ronaldo cards, along with buying/selling advice for collectors and investors. As you might have guessed, CR7 rookie cards are the most valuable options overall.
The Best Cristiano Ronaldo Cards
The majority of Ronaldo’s key cards miss out on later stints with Real Madrid and Juventus respectively. However, we’ll begin with one released during his time with Los Blancos.
5. 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup Matchups Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi #19 (eBay)
The only non-RC to make the list, the 2014 Panini Prizm World Cup set features both rivals in a full-bleed image. It earns bonus points for including them in their international kits.
The combination of two GOAT contenders makes it a collectible which could make real money in the future.
Numbered parallels are rarely seen at auction.
2014 World Cup Matchups Prizm Parallels: Prizm, Red White & Blue Power Plaid, Blue & Red Blue Wave, Yellow & Red Pulsar, Blue #/199, Red #/149, Purple #/99, Green Crystal #/25, Gold #/10, Gold Power #/5, Black 1/1
4. 2006 Panini World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo #169 (eBay)
Ronaldo is the talismanic captain of Portugal. He led the team to a Euro 2016 victory, as well as winning the 2018-19 Nations League.
Any image of the player in a Portugal kit is worth decent money, especially if you’re looking at vintage World Cup branded cards like this one.
The 2006 World Cup was Ronaldo’s first ever tournament, and collectors tend to prefer an RC branded in international colours.
3. 2003-04 Upper Deck Manchester United Cristiano Ronaldo #13,14,15 (eBay)
Ronaldo joined Manchester United at the start of the 2003-04 season. The transfer fee of £12.24 million made him, at the time, the most expensive teenager in English football history.
In 2003-04, Upper Deck released a Manchester United themed set with a trio of Ronaldo base cards contained within.
Numbered #13,14, and 15, there are also Black parallels, and Gold parallels limited to the player’s shirt number.
They’re still seen as RCs by many collectors. They’re likely to shoot up in value as he joined the club again this season after over a decade away.
2. 2002-03 Panini Stickers Cristiano Ronaldo #306 (eBay)
The 2002-03 Panini Stickers set features an early Ronaldo release.
It comes in the form of a traditional profile shot of the player, with a familiar determined expression etched on his face.
Ronaldo made his debut for Sporting CP at the age of 18, winning the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira.
As a sticker, there aren’t many copies available in the present. Even fewer will be able to earn a high grade from the likes of PSA or BGS.
It’s not as popular as the Mega Craques seen below, but it’s still another viable Ronaldo RC that will sell for a large sum.
1. 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques Cristiano Ronaldo RC #137 (eBay)
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first ever card comes from his time spent at Sporting Clube de Portugal.
The 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques features a large, full-bleed action shot of the player with the ball at his feet. It is fair considering he was best known for world class dribbling and fluid skills during his formative years.
It’s seen as Ronaldo’s ‘true’ rookie card, and that is reflected by the high asking prices for ungraded copies, as well as PSA 10s.
If you can only have one Ronaldo card and money is no object, this could be a great choice.
It’s also worth mentioning just how young he looks in the image, as he had yet to transform into the athlete we all know today.
Cristiano Ronaldo Cards: Buyers Guide
We’d snap up any pristine Ronaldo cards you find. Be aware that you’re likely to face stiff competition on auction sites like eBay.
The ‘best’ cheap Ronaldo cards are going to be ungraded, if you have the time and patience to send them off for yourself. Alternatively, we’d look at any PSA 10 copies within your price range, as long as you avoid base Match Attax cards from previous years.
The 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques has to be our top pick, although the 2006 World Cup RC is another great looking option. In truth, any of the cards we’ve mentioned above should be seen as viable options, although they’re relatively expensive.
Cristiano Ronaldo Cards: Buying/Selling Advice
Ronaldo is supremely adaptable, although he has started to show signs of slowing down. Time waits for no man, and his career will come to an end one day.
It could be sooner than we all expect, which is why collectors are fighting for CR7 cards before all we have left are nostalgia and memories. The best Cristiano Ronaldo rookie card has to be the 2002-03 Panini Mega Craques.
As with any legend, expect prices to rise rapidly over the next decade or so. We’d advise to hold onto any RCs in the meantime, especially if you’re looking for long-term investment options that you won’t have to worry about.