Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo etched his name in the record books as professional football’s all-time leading scorer with 807 goals after a brilliant hat-trick against Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The all-time top goal scorer title in football is much contested and FIFA does not keep an official record, but the world governing body estimates that Austro-Czech Josef Bican netted 805 goals during a career that lasted from 1931 to ’55.
Ronaldo’s 12th-minute opener at Old Trafford was a superb strike from distance that helped him equal the record.
The Portugal international then went past Bican with a tap in from Jadon Sancho’s neat pass to put United 2-1 in front before powerfully heading home his third to spark wild celebrations in the stands as United won 3-2.
It was the 59th hat-trick of Ronaldo’s career and his first for the Old Trafford side since 2008 following his return.
Ronaldo’s goals have been scored for Sporting, United, Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
The Czech FA has said that Bican’s total was actually 821 goals following a review of his statistics.
Brazilian strikers Pele and Romario each scored more than 1,000 goals during their careers, but those statistics include strikes in amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.
Copyright 2022 Thomson/Reuters