The Portuguese forward is the proud owner of so many records over a stellar career.
There is no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo has firmly ensconced himself among the elite, the creme-de-la-creme of football fame and history. Among the greatest footballers in history, the Portuguese striker-cum-winger has enjoyed a career matched by a select few. His qualities and influence in football transcend boundaries that have endeared him to fans all over the world and made him a global icon.
The man from Madeira is an epitome of relentless dedication, passion, hard work (and fitness, obviously) and these qualities have helped him remain at the top of his game and football at large in whatever capacity, style, club and country that he has played in. Apart from only Lionel Messi, there seems to be no equal to the almost superhuman feats of Cristiano Ronaldo and the two have made football records and statistics their own with unprecedented levels of consistency.
Today we enlist and focus on Ronaldo’s top five footballing records amongst the innumerable ones that the maverick forward holds in his almost two-decade-old career.
1. Highest goalscorer in football history
On January 20, 2021, Cristiano Ronaldo added another record to his unending list of records by becoming the highest ever goalscorer in football history (club+country). Ronaldo scored the opener against Napoli in the Supercoppa Italiana match to net his 760th professional goal overtaking Josef Bican’s record in the process. His incredible tally includes 658 goals in 872 club football matches and 102 goals in 170 appearances for his native Portugal.
2. Most international goals by an active player
International football is not considered as important as league football with teams playing around 10-15 games a year. As a result, games and the goal-scoring ratio might be less and far compared to club football. But not for Cristiano Ronaldo, it seems. The serial winner maintains the same consistency for his country as he does everywhere.
The Portuguese became the first European and only the second men’s player to score 100 international goals. His current tally stands at 102 goals in 170 appearances for the Euro 2016 Champions and the defending Nations League Champions. He is now only seven goals behind the highest tally in men’s football set by Ali Daei who scored 109 goals in 149 games for Egypt.
The forward is way ahead in the list of international goals (for active players). The next-highest tally is that of India’s Sunil Chhetri with 72 goals. That explains the fact that Cristiano’s thirst for goals doesn’t stop irrespective of the stage that he is playing at.
3. Most Champions League goals in a single season
It is well-known and featured now that although he doesn’t slack for other competitions, Cristiano Ronaldo works on a different level altogether when it comes to the UEFA Champions League. The five-time Ballon D’Or winner considers the competition his favourite, and always rises to the occasion on the big and swanky European nights. Ronaldo is the highest scorer in the competition’s history with 129 goals and also holds the record for the most goals in a single season (17) in the 2013-14 season as he led Real Madrid to the coveted La Decima, the club’s 10th European title.
4. The only player to score 15+ goals in a Champions League season more than once
As mentioned before that Ronaldo has the record for the most goals in a single season (17), he also holds the record for the most number of occasions where a player has scored 15 or more goals in the Champions League. He achieved this feat in the seasons of 2013-14, 2015-16 and 2017-18. Coincidentally, his former team Real Madrid won the Champions League on all three occasions with the forward’s contributions a cornerstone to their unprecedented success in the competition in the last decade.
Cristiano Ronaldo is also the only player to score 10+ goals in more than five seasons in the Champions League with seven consecutive seasons between 2011-12 to 2017-18 when he left Real Madrid after their third successive title and 13th overall. This shows that the levels of Cristiano’s consistency just sky-rocket when it comes to the Champions League and gives evidence of his continuous love affair with the competition.
5. The first player to win Europe’s top-three leagues
We can go on and on with the Juventus man’s heroics in the continental instalment of European football. But the forward has another unique distinction to his name as he is the first and only player to have won the top-three leagues in Europe namely the Premier League (England) where he won three back-to-back titles under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, two La Liga (Spain) titles with Real Madrid, and the Serie A twice (Italy) with current club Juventus FC. While other players have won league titles in England, Spain and other countries, no one has won the league titles in the top-3 leagues as mentioned.
We can continue to wax eloquent about Cristiano Ronaldo but the fact remains that he is a player beyond all praise and deserves every bit of the success he is enjoying due to his hardwork, determination and his unadulterated and seamless passion to play, perform and win. Even at the age of 35, when most players look to mark this as the twilight of their career and move to newer places, he is at the top tier of European football and going by his consistency, he seems destined to stay for a few more years to come.