Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo etched his name in the record books as professional football’s all-time leading scorer with 807 goals after a brilliant hat-trick against Premier League rival Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
The all-time top goalscorer title in football is much contested and FIFA does not keep an official record, but the world governing body estimates that Austro-Czech Josef Bican netted 805 goals during a career that lasted from 1931 to ’55.
READ | Cristiano Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Man United beats Tottenham 3-2
Ronaldo’s 12th-minute opener at Old Trafford was a superb strike from distance that helped him equal the record.
The Portugal international then went past Bican with a tap in from Jadon Sancho’s neat pass to put United 2-1 in front before powerfully heading home his third to spark wild celebrations in the stands as United won 3-2.
It was the 59th treble of Ronaldo’s career and his first for the Old Trafford side since 2008 following his return.
“Tremendously happy with my first hat-trick since I came back to Old Trafford!” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram. “Nothing beats the feeling of being back on the pitch and helping the team with goals and effort.”
Ronaldo’s goals have been scored for Sporting, United, Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
The Czech FA has said that Bican’s total was actually 821 goals following a review of his statistics.
Brazilian strikers Pele and Romario each scored more than 1,000 goals during their careers, but those statistics include strikes in amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.