Cristiano Ronaldo now stands alone as the first player in football history to achieve 800 career goals – a ludicrous feat that has not been matched by anyone past or present.
Ronaldo put Manchester United 2-1 up against Arsenal at Old Trafford to reach the remarkable milestone with a typically cool finish into the bottom corner after finding space inside the box.
Typically, he made it 801 just a few minutes later with a powerful penalty to restore a 3-2 lead for his side after being pegged back.
The 36-year-old’s desire to be acknowledged by all as the greatest player to ever lace up a pair of boots is well-documented and with this feat, few could argue he hasn’t already achieved his aim.
His quest to become a football icon begun just shy of two decades ago, when he notched his first career goal for boyhood club Sporting CP in his home country of Portugal as a teenager.
Few in attendance that day could have predicted that goal would go on to be the first of 800, but such is Ronaldo’s overwhelming confidence he may have had an inkling.
While his exploits during his first stint at Manchester United and a nine-year stay at Real Madrid are common knowledge, it is important to highlight just how staggering Ronaldo has performed over the last 12 months given any normal player of his age would be showing signs of entering the twilight of their career.
It is abundantly clear Ronaldo is no normal player – instead, a goal-scoring machine who devotes every inch of himself to prolonging an already illustrious career.
He does so with good reason, he clearly still has the edge of over just about every player in world football, outscoring many elite talents a number of years his junior.
From 2018 to the summer of 2021 Ronaldo plied his trade for Italian giants Juventus in a move that many dubbed underwhelming upon his departure from Turin.
This stemmed from Juventus making little secret of the fact they had signed Ronaldo with the main objective of securing the Champions League – something they failed to do during his three years at the club.
That is not to say his own showings were underwhelming however, in fact far from it as Ronaldo notched 101 goals in 134 appearances for the Old Lady.
He secured the Serie A golden boot in his final season, before sealing a triumphant return to the club where he first announced himself on the world stage.
Not to be outdone by his long-time Ballon d’Or rival Lionel Messi, who also switched clubs in the summer, Ronaldo sparked headlines worldwide after his return to Old Trafford was confirmed.
To say the move has gone exactly as planned would be disingenuous, as United languish as low as sixth in the Premier League nine points adrift of table-toppers Chelsea.
The second coming of Ronaldo, along with the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, led to sincere optimism from the Old Trafford faithful that the eight-year wait for a title could come to an end.
Instead, humiliating defeats to closest rivals Liverpool and Man City have all but quashed the hopes of even United’s most hopeful supporters.
Due to the rock-bottom morale that currently shrouds United’s Carrington training base, Ronaldo’s stunning individual displays have potentially gone under the radar.
Nine goals and one assist in 12 appearances during his second-stint at the club, Ronaldo’s tendency to notch last-gasp winners has often bailed out his teammates faltering performances – particularly in the Champions League.
A competition that is synonymous with Ronaldo’s genius, the 36-year-old has only increased his lead at the top of the competitions all-time scoring charts since coming back to United, notching five goals in four European outings.
As Ronaldo surpasses the 800-goal mark, the debate will forever rage on surrounding who the best player of all-time is – but there is little debate over the best goal-scorer.
RONALDO’S OVERALL GOALS RECORD
- Games: 1095 (911 club)
Won: 720, Drawn 209, Lost: 165
- Goals: 801 (686 club)
- Goals per game: 0.73 (0.75 club)
- Hat-Tricks: 58 (48 club)
- Four in a game: 8 (six for Real Madrid, two for Portugal)
- Five in a game: 2 (for Real Madrid)
- Penalties*: 141 (125 club)
28 missed overall (21 missed for clubs)
- Assists*: 282 (239 club)
RONALDO’S CLUB GOALS RECORD
- Games: 911
- Goals: 686
Manchester United: 12 (16 games)
Juventus: 101 (134 games)
Real Madrid: 450 (438 games)
Manchester United: 118 (292 games)
Sporting Lisbon: 5 (31 games)
- Overall Goals per game ratio: 0.75
- League: 485 (622 games)
Premier League: 6 (11 games)
Serie A: 79 (97 games)
La Liga: 311 (292 games)
Premier League: 84 (196 games)
Primeira Liga: 3 (25 games)
Goals per game ratio: 0.79
- Champions League: 141* (185 games*)
Manchester United: 6 (5 games)
Juventus: 14 (23 games)
Real Madrid: 105 (101 games)
Manchester United: 16* (55 games*)
Sporting Lisbon: 0 (1 game*)
Goals per game ratio: 0.75
- Domestic Cups: 45 (81 games)
Coppa Italia: 4 (10 games)
Copa del Rey: 22 (30 games)
FA Cup: 13 (26 games)
EFL Cup: 4 (12 games)
Taca de Portugal: 2 (3 games)
Goals per game ratio: 0.55
- UEFA Cup: 0 (2 games, both for Sporting Lisbon)
- World Club Cup: 7 (8 games)
Real Madrid: 6 (6 games)
Man United: 1 (2 games)
- UEFA Super Cup: 2 (2 games, both for Real Madrid)
- Domestic ‘Super Cups’: 6 (11 games)
Supercoppa Italiana: 2 (3 games)
Supercopa: 4 (7 games)
Community Shield: 0 (1 game)
- Hat-Tricks: 48
Real Madrid: 44
Man United: 1
- Four in a game: 6
Real Madrid: 6
- Five in a game: 2
Real Madrid: 2
- Penalties: 126 (21 missed)
Juventus: 29 (5 misses)
Real Madrid: 79 (12 misses)
Man United: 18 (3 misses)
- Assists: 239 **
RONALDO’S INTERNATIONAL GOALS RECORD
- Games: 184
- Goals: 115
- Goals per game ratio: 0.61
- World Cup Finals goals: 7 (17 games)
- World Cup qualification goals: 36 (45 games)
- European Championship goals: 14 (25 games)
- European Championship qualification goals: 31 (35 games)
- Confederation Cup goals: 2 (4 games)
- Nations League goals: 5 goals (6 games)
- International friendly goals: 20 (52 games)
- Hat-Tricks: 10 (Most in history)
- Four in a game: 2
- Penalties: 14 (7 missed)
- Assists: 43
RONALDO’S CENTURY GOALS MILESTONES
- 1st goal Sporting Lisbon v Moreirense (October 7, 2002)
- 100th goal v Tottenham (January 27, 2008)
- 200th goal v Valencia (December 4, 2010)
- 300th goal v Granada (May 5, 2012)
- 400th goal v Celta (January 6, 2014)
- 500th goal v Malmo (September 30, 2015)
- 600th goal v Juventus (June 3, 2017)
- 700th goal v Ukraine (October 14, 2019)
- 800th goal v Arsenal (December 3, 2021)