Just when you think there can be no more, Cristiano Ronaldo always finds a way to do better. The Juventus man scored his 700th career goal on Monday evening as the Portugal star struck against Ukraine in their Euro 2020 qualifier in Kiev. Just how many more goals does he have left in him?
This got me thinking about potential challenges on FM20 – why not manage Juventus and see how many goals you can get Ronaldo to score before he finally retires?
Why? Well, it might be fun.
Ronaldo netted his 699th goal at senior level in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Luxembourg on Friday night – his 94th international goal – and reached the 700-mark as he found the net versus Ukraine from the penalty spot.
His 700 goals so far have come from 973 matches – and he has scored at least once in 458 of those (Transfermarkt). You can find the odds on Ronaldo scoring 1000+ professional goals by the time he retires if you click here.
His goal in the 2-1 loss to Ukraine was also his 95th for Portugal, leaving only Iranian Ali Daei in front in the international charts on 109 goals.
Most goals scored all-time in men's international football:
🇮🇷 Ali Daei (109)
🇵🇹 Cristiano Ronaldo (94)
🇭🇺 Ferenc Puskas (84)
Cristiano Ronaldo is only 15 goals away from tying the all-time record. pic.twitter.com/hm6BSVz6KZ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 12, 2019
The Manchester United and Real Madrid legend has scored 605 goals at club level. Ronaldo hit five for Sporting Lisbon before being snapped up by United in the summer of 2003.
Ronaldo then publicly announced his desire to move to Real Madrid but Sir Alex Ferguson convinced his star player to stay for one more year before selling him to Los Blancos for a then-world-world £80m in 2009.
That fee proved to be a bargian for Real as Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 appearances (Transfermarkt) for the Bernabeu club, including a remarkable run between 2010 and 2016 during which he did not dip below 50 goals in a single season.
After winning three Champions League trophies in a row from 2015 to 2018, Ronaldo then abruptly left Real for Juventus, scoring 28 times last season as the Bianconeri won yet another Serie A title.
According to data from Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation, Juventus forward Ronaldo is still some way behind the most prolific player of all time, with Czech-Austrian Josef Bican scoring 805 career goals.
Next on the list is Brazil legend Romario, who bagged 772, while his compatriot Pele is third on 767.
Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas hit 746 goals, while former Germany striker Gerd Muller rounds out the top five with 735 goals.
Ronaldo is no stranger to breaking records. You name it, he has probably broken it.
Most Champions League goals, most goals in a Champions League season, most goals for Real Madrid, most appearances in European Championships, most Portugal caps, to name but a few.
The list is almost endless. So what is left for him to achieve?
There is still his ongoing tussle with Barcelona’s Lionel Messi to be statistically the outright best player in Europe.
Ronaldo’s goal against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League at the start of the month took him up to 605 club goals, two above Messi’s 603.
The pair are the joint all-time top goalscorers in Europe’s top five leagues on 419. Ronaldo has 422 league goals but his three in Portugal for Sporting Lisbon do not count as one of the top leagues.
Ronaldo still needs four Champions League final goals to overhaul Puskas’ and Alfredo di Stefano’s record of seven, while he needs to score in the competition again next season to match Ryan Giggs’ record of netting in 16 consecutive seasons.
Still plenty for him to aim for then.
How many more goals can Ronaldo score at Juventus?
Ronaldo might be able to defy all odds but one thing he obviously can’t conquer is the inevitable test of time and it is already telling on him as it stands. 28 goals a season is outright impressive for any player let alone a 33-year-old (at the time) but for Ronaldo at Juventus, that tally last season meant it was his lowest scoring tally in a decade. Shows the high standard he has stuck with for ages.
His 450 goals in 438 games for Real Madrid meant an average of more than one goal guaranteed per game. At Juventus, his goal average has decreased to 0.62 goals per game (32 goals in 51 appearances via Transfermarkt).
Meaning for Ronaldo to hit the 800 goal mark, he will need to maintain his current level and realistically play for three more seasons with decent game time. While it’s not impossible to say the least, Ronaldo is already 34 and however you want it, he can not play at this standard for the next three years. Before now, Ronaldo barely got injured but has already missed one or two games this season due to a fitness issue. Also, his heavy involvement with the national side at his age will mean more strain for the Portugese and could ultimately see him play much less football over the coming seasons.
Realistically, Ronaldo can still go on to bag 750 goals or even so struggle for 18 more and surpass Pele as the third on the list for most career goals. His goal tally will also largely be determined by how far Juventus can go in the Champions League as we know how his European tally was well boosted by Madrid’s hat-trick of UCL wins.
However, we can only speculate and one can’t be completely right with Cristiano Ronaldo. Many still claim Ronaldo is still in superb physical condition at the age of 34 meaning it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he may end up surpassing the 800-goal mark before he retires. Ronaldo has defied all odds when they mattered the most and only time will tell if he can secure this as well.
So, the question is – are you going to take over as Juventus on FM20 and see how many more goals you can get Ronaldo to score?