3 reasons why Cristiano Ronaldo will cross the 800-goal mark
Cristiano Ronaldo wrote his name into footballing folklore once again when he scored in the Euro 2020 qualifying fixture against Ukraine. The goal was his 95th for Portugal and took him to 700 career goals for club and country.
Remarkably, only five men before him have managed to score 700 official goals in the history of football. And while Ronaldo's status as an all-time great has long been confirmed, he has further cemented his legacy with this latest milestone.
A breakdown of his goals reveals 605 have come with his various clubs. Sporting Lisbon (5), Manchester United (118), Real Madrid (450) and Juventus (32) have accounted for his goals at club level, while his Portuguese career makes up the rest.
Furthermore, of the 700, 444 have been scored with his right foot, which serves no real surprise as that is his dominant side. However, he has also scored 126 with his 'weaker foot', while his head (128), and 'chest' (two) complete the tally.
With 700 reached, the conversation has predictably turned to whether the Madeira native can reach the next century. Some believe that he can, while others believe he can't.
While a further 100 goals might sound almost impossible for Ronaldo to attain, that word does not exist in his dictionary. The 34-year-old thrives on making the impossible possible.
In this piece, we look at three reasons why Ronaldo will most likely reach the 800-goal mark before he draws the curtains on his illustrious career.
#3 He is still in pristine condition
The number one argument against Ronaldo reaching the 800-goal mark is his age. Many argue the fact that he is 34 means he has limited years of top-level football left in him, and that gives him less time to break the record.
This would have been a valid point if the player in question was any ordinary footballer. The average player peaks in their mid-20s, starts declining in their 30s and by 34-35 are either nearing retirement or kicking it down in one of the lesser leagues for one final big payday.
However, that argument ignores the fact that Ronaldo is not your average player. And as such, he cannot be judged by the yardsticks set for other footballers.
Players throughout history have regressed with age, but Ronaldo seems to be a Benjamin Button who seemingly gets younger with each passing year.
His ultra-intense training regimen and strict dietary procedures have ensured that the Portuguese international is almost in tip-top condition despite approaching his 18th year as a professional footballer.
Ronaldo looks as fit and trim as anyone, and a study revealed that he has the body fat index of a 20-year-old. This should come as no surprise to anyone who follows him across social media platforms and is observant of his daily routines.
Like vintage wine, Ronaldo seems to have gotten better with age. A look at his numbers in his last few years would convince even the staunchest naysayers of that.
The former Manchester United man turned 30 in February 2015 and that year, he still scored an incredible total of 57 goals from 57 appearances. In each of the next two years he scored 50+ goals, while his figure dropped to 49 in 2018 as he took himself off international duties and adapted to a new league.
This year he has still managed to score 27 goals from just 35 appearances, which is only eight short of Messi's total of 35 (43 appearances). It also compares favorably with the returns posted by younger world-class forwards like Harry Kane (22 from 32), Sergio Aguero (29 from 41), Luis Suarez (23 from 41) and Robert Lewandowski (38 from 42).
Furthermore, Ronaldo has an excellent track record with injuries. And his incredible recovery rate means that he comes back to full fitness sooner rather than later on the rare occasions that he does pick up a niggle.
Given his pristine body condition, it stands to reason that Ronaldo will play for at least another four years. And with his goalscoring rate still ranking high up there with the best of them, it seems like a matter of time before he reaches the 800-goal mark.