STILL RACKING 'EM UP
Cristiano Ronaldo has now overtaken Erling Haaland as 2023's top scorer
Many wrote Cristiano Ronaldo off as over the hill when he left Europe for Saudi Arabia, but he remains prolific both for his club - and his country.
Roberto Martínez’s appointment as Portugal boss has seen Ronaldo recover his Seleçao starting spot, and the star has responded with goals.
Ronaldo has scored nine times in Martínez’s seven games in charge of the Portuguese, taking the forward’s overall international tally to 127.
His brace in Portugal’s win over Bosnia and Herzegovina saw him overtake Erling Haaland as men’s soccer’s highest scorer in 2023, with 40.
Since his pro debut in 2002, Ronaldo has hit a record 853 goals for club and country - and he’s chasing four figures. “I think I’ll get there,” he has said.
The veteran also insists that he isn’t yet thinking about when he’ll finally call time on his illustrious playing career, as his body is still holding up.
A key target for Ronaldo is Euro 2024. Having won eight out of eight in qualifying so far, Portugal have already made sure of their spot in Germany.
Ronaldo is under contract at Al-Nassr until 2025. He’ll be 40 at that point, so it’s hard to imagine him carrying on for much longer after that.
His move to Saudi Arabia caused a major splash in world soccer. Indeed, Al-Nassr’s social-media following has rocketed from 800,000 to 20 million.
Last month, Ronaldo told a Q&A that he wouldn’t swap his five UCLs for a World Cup, and that he believes no-one will overtake his career goal haul.