Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo has etched his name in the record books as professional football’s all-time top scorer with 807 goals after a brilliant hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday.
The title of all-time top scorer in men’s football is hotly contested and FIFA does not hold an official record, but the world governing body estimates that the Austrian-Czech Josef Bican scored 805 goals in a career that lasted from 1931 to 1955.
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Ronaldo’s 12th-minute opener at Old Trafford was a superb long-range strike that helped him equal the record.
The Portugal international then blasted past Bican with a fine pass from Jadon Sancho to put United 2-1 ahead before powering home with his third and the winner to spark wild celebrations in the stands.
It was Ronaldo’s 59th career hat-trick and his first for United since 2008 after his return.
“It was a great game and a great reaction from us,” United midfielder Paul Pogba told BBC Sport. “We hurt them at the right time and Ronaldo did what he does best.
Of course Cristiano Ronaldo broke the all time goalscoring record with a hat trick 😤 pic.twitter.com/dLCOpReXUO
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“He was never a problem. You have the best striker in history in our team, that can’t be a problem. Today he showed why he is Cristiano Ronaldo. The performance of him and the whole team was very brilliant.”
Ronaldo’s goals have been scored for Sporting, United, Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
The Czech FA said Bican’s tally was actually 821 goals after a review of his stats.
Brazilian strikers Pelé and Romario have each scored over 1,000 goals in their careers, but these stats include goals in amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.
“Today was his best performance, at least since I arrived,” United caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick told Sky Sports. “He was good in training on Thursday and that’s why I decided to start him. Fantastic performances from him but also from the rest of the team.
“He can [get 70,000 people off their feet], but again, he can also do it only with the team. A fantastic performance. It wasn’t just the three goals today, it was also that he was part of the team when they had possession.”