Cristiano Ronaldo – Football’s greatest ever goalscorer

In Football by adminsports

When it comes to competitive sport, it is often said that the hardest part is scoring. Putting the ball in the goal can make the difference between winning and losing. On a micro-scale, this can lead to a few points in the context of a league. On a larger scale, this can lead to dynasties and legacies being built across years and throughout countries.

When it comes to legacies within football, there are few that can rival that of Cristiano Ronaldo. The irrepressible 37-year-old broke yet another record in March to be recognised as the greatest goalscorer in the history of the sport.

At the very summit of the game, Ronaldo scored what was his 807th professional goal for club and country as part of a sumptuous hat-trick at Old Trafford to give Manchester United a crucial 3 points over Tottenham Hotspur in their quest to secure Champions League football next season.

Ronaldo’s Record

Ronaldo has been scoring goals at an astonishing rate for a period of time that few can rival. His exploits in front of goal across the major leagues in Europe have truly separated him from the pack as the most remarkable marksman in the history of the sport.

As ESPN UK pointed out, an 18-year old scoring 50 goals a year throughout their 15-year career would finish with 750 goals. Ronaldo reaching the phenomenal figure of 807 with plenty more to come is therefore quite hard to fathom.

For Ronaldo, it has been important not only to have such a high peak at the summit of his game, but to maintain that peak for such a long period of time. As a result, he has perennially competed for titles and championships alongside his own personal accolades in the major league across Europe as well as on the International stage.

Throughout his astonishing career, Ronaldo has scored more Champions League goals (140) and more International goals (115) than any other player. The 5-time Ballon D’Or winner amassed over half of his senior goals (450) during the 438 games that he played for Real Madrid during his 9 years at the Spanish giants.

Ronaldo’s Record-Breaking Game

As Ronaldo has done for the majority of his career, he answered the call when his team needed him most. In a crucial game at Old Trafford against a Tottenham side competing for the Champions League places, Ronaldo scored a sublime hat-trick, including a trademark rocket from outside of the box and a towering header to secure a vital 3 points for the Red Devils.

Before that game, there had been murmurings of Ronaldo’s contribution to a lack of cohesion and happiness in the Man United dressing room. Following his controversial exclusion from the starting team for the Manchester derby the week before, Ronaldo’s return to the starting XI brought with it an additional degree of expectation.

Fortunately for the Stratford End, it didn’t take long for the Portuguese star to deal with that expectation.

At the age of 37, Ronaldo has created an astonishing record when heading the ball, accounting for 0.16 headed goals per game since 2009-10 across his illustrious career and amassing more headed goals than any other striker in the any major European League. His prowess in the air has been a key component to his goal scoring feats and was on show for all to see as he rounded off his stellar performance with his final touch of the ball against Tottenham.

How Does Ronaldo’s Record Compare To Other Players?

Whilst 807 goals rightly sounds like an astronomical amount, it is not until it is compared to some of the greats of the game that the scale of the achievement can be truly appreciated.

Some of the greatest strikers in history fail to come close to Ronaldo’s record.

Thierry Henry, who dominated the Premier League for such a period of time scored 411 goals throughout his professional career. You could even add the goals (399) of Ronaldo’s namesake, Ronaldo Nazario, labelled as one of the deadliest finishers of his generation, and Cristiano Ronaldo has passed that total before the end of the month.

Lionel Messi, considered by many to be the greatest player of all-time, has scored 759 goals in a phenomenal professional career. However, since moving to Paris Saint-Germain, has struggled to find the net with the same consistency that he did at Barcelona, leading many to believe that the gap in goals between Ronaldo and Messi will only get larger in the final years of their careers.

One of the most impressive aspects of Ronaldo’s record is that he has achieved so much at the summit of the game across a number of major league sin Europe. Having signed for Manchester United as a teenager from Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo rose to become the best player in the world, winning his first Ballon D’Or title in the North East of England.

Not content, he moved to Spanish superpower Real Madrid, where he averaged more than a goal per game in his 9 years, winning three consecutive Champions League titles amongst a host of trophies and individual accolades.

More recently, Ronaldo moved to Italy, scoring just over a century of goals for Juventus in three seasons at the club, with only the legendary Omar Sivori scoring the same number in a quicker number of games. In his time at the Italian giants, Ronaldo won 5 trophies and scored 68 more goals than any other member of the team.

The longevity and availability of Ronaldo has given him the platform to produce the consistent levels of performances that fans across Europe and the world have now become accustom to. Since turning 30, Ronaldo has scored 320 goals in 356 matches across all competitions and there would be few who would bet against him extending his record in the coming years.

Whilst he is most definitely in the twilight years of his career, Ronaldo’s latest feat proves that there is no immediate signs of his talismanic exploits ending any time soon.