Cristiano Ronaldo has now officially surpassed the disputed all-time goal-scoring tally of football legend Pele with a hat-trick for his club Juventus as they beat Cagliari 3-1 to keep their Serie A title hopes alive on Sunday.
Ronaldo was level with Pele’s tally of 767 goals (officially 757 goals) for club and country but the Portuguese has now moved ahead by three goals.
The performance comes days after Ronaldo was criticized for his role in Juventus’ Champions League exit in the last-16 stage against Porto FC. The 36-year-old turned his back and lifted his leg allowing a late freekick to sneak past the defensive wall he was part of resulting in a decisive goal.
Former Juventus manager Fabio Capello termed Ronaldo as the “worst” while former club president Giovanni Cobolli Gigli advised the Serie A giants to offload the veteran. Ronaldo has now broken his silence saying the story is far from over via a lengthy Instagram post.
“The last few weeks were filled with news and stats considering me the World’s Top Scorer in football history, overcoming Pelé’s 757 official goals. Although I’m thankful for that recognition, now it’s time for me to explain why I didn’t acknowledge that record until this moment,” Ronaldo wrote.
“My everlasting and unconditional admiration for mister Edson Arantes do Nascimento, such as the respect that I have for mid-20th century football, led me to take into account his 767 score, assuming his 9 goals for São Paulo State Team, as well as his single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals. The World as changed since then and football as changed as well, but this doesn’t mean that we can just erase history according to our interests.”
Ronaldo wrote that he never dreamt of evet breaking Pele’s record and as a child grew up listening to the stories of the Brazilian.
“Today, as I reach the 770 official goal in my professional career, my first words go straight to @pele .
There’s no player in the World who hasn’t been raised listening to stories about his games, his goals and his achievements, and I’m no exception. And for that reason, I’m filled with joy and pride as I acknowledge the goal that put’s me on top of the World’s goalscoring list, overcoming Pelé’s record, something that I could never have dreamed of while growing up as a child from Madeira,” he wrote.
“Now I can’t wait for the next games and challenges! The next records and trophies (sic)! Believe me, this story is still far from being over. The future is tomorrow and there’s still a lot to win for Juventus and Portugal!”