Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored at four different World Cups, a feat previously managed by only Germany greats Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler, plus Brazil legend Pele. The Portuguese forward only netted once in the 2006, 2010 and 2014 tournaments, but his hat-trick against Spain in the opener this time around will give him a great shot at finishing as top scorer at Russia 2018.
Portugal claimed the European Championship by beating France in Paris two years ago, handing Ronaldo a first piece of silverware at international level. Fernando Santos’ side were outsiders in the Euros, but winning a World Cup will be an altogether tougher task. After the draw against Spain, Cristiano said: “We’re not favourites, but we are candidates.” And his goals give the Portuguese a chance.
This one is already in his sights. With his hat-trick against Spain, Ronaldo drew level with Hungary great Ferenc Puskas on 84 international goals and his next strike for Portugal will make him the all-time top scorer for a European national team. It is only a matter of time before that happens and he could achieve the feat against Morocco on Wednesday.
Once he has surpassed Puskas, Ronaldo will set his sights on reaching 100 goals for Portugal and after that, breaking the international record set by Ali Daei. The former Iran forward ended his career with an astonishing 109 strikes for his national team and Cristiano is only 25 away from that mark. If he carries on for a couple more years, he looks likely to set a new record.
Real Madrid have won four Champions League crowns in the past five seasons and Ronaldo has five after claiming his first while at Manchester United. Only one player, Blancos legend Paco Gento, has more. The former Spain great racked up six European Cups for Real between 1956 and 1965 and one more win in the competition will see Cristiano equal that incredible feat.
Like Lionel Messi, Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or five times. Having trailed to his Barcelona rival by four to one in 2012, the Portuguese has claimed the prestigious prize four more times in the past five years and another win will take him to an unprecedented sixth award. Having claimed the Champions League again, a strong showing at the World Cup will give him every chance of acquiring another Golden Ball in December.
Cristiano currently has 16 trophies at Real Madrid: four Champions League crowns, the Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, two Ligas, two Copas del Rey and two Spanish Supercopas. That tally is impressive, but still leaves him some way short of Paco Gento’s 23 trophies for Los Blancos. He is also three behind current team-mate Sergio Ramos, although he has won more than the defender overall at club level, having claimed nine trophies at Manchester United.
Ronaldo’s goal against Barcelona in the 2-2 draw at Camp Nou in La Liga in April saw the Portuguese draw level with Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano on 18 goals in the famous fixture. Providing he stays with Los Blancos, his next Clasico goal will make him Madrid’s top scorer versus Barca, although he is some way short of Messi’s total of 26.
This one may be more difficult because Ronaldo is resting more often in the league than he used to in the past. However, if he can finish as the continent’s top league scorer next season, Cristiano will equal Messi’s record of winning the European Golden Shoe on five separate occasions. Currently he has four (three with Real Madrid and one from his time at Manchester United).
Cristiano Ronaldo has long surpassed Raul (323 goals) as Real Madrid’s all-time top scorer. The Portuguese has hit an astonishing 450 goals in just 438 games for Los Blancos and if he stays at the Santiago Bernabeu, his next target will be to reach 500 strikes for the Spanish side. He could even achieve the feat next season.