Cristiano Ronaldo says there “are no limits” for Manchester United after his hat-trick helped them beat Tottenham Hotspur.
Ronaldo’s first United hat-trick since 2008 earned his club a 3-2 win and took his overall career goal tally to 807 – with some claiming that saw him break a world record for goals scored.
“Tremendously happy with my first hat-trick since I came back to Old Trafford!” Portugal forward wrote on Instagram.
“Nothing beats the feeling of being back on the pitch and helping the team with goals and effort.
“We’ve proven once again that we can beat any team in any given day, as long as we work hard and stand together as one. There are no limits for Man United! No matter what! Let’s go, Devils!”
The performance came a week after Ronaldo missed the Manchester derby amid suggestions he had flown to Portugal, having been told he was dropped.
United boss Ralf Rangnick subsequently rejected the allegation and said the 37-year-old had been ruled out with a hip injury.
However, after what the German described as Ronaldo’s best performance “on and off the ball” since he came to the club as interim manager in November, he wondered if it was worth repeating the player’s build-up.
“We were just joking that maybe it makes sense to send him to Portugal for three days, then have him not train for two and then have him back, by the way, he performed on a similar kind of level on Thursday in training,” said Rangnick.
“I decided after that training session to play him today even though he has not trained for a week. Maybe we have to do that for the rest of the season.”
Is Ronaldo the all-time top scorer?
There had been claims that Ronaldo became recognized as Fifa’s all-time top scorer with his hat-trick, passing Czech-Austrian Josef Bican’s 805.
But the only time the Fifa website mentions Bican’s 805-goal haul is in an article that says it is an estimated total and does not call it a record. A Fifa tweet about Ronaldo’s hat-trick did not even mention the record.
The Czech FA says Bican, who died in 2001, scored 821 goals and unofficial statisticians RSSSF – which initially reported the 805 figure – now says he has scored more than 950 goals.
That includes strikes in amateur and reserve games and for regional teams.
Ronaldo is definitely football’s all-time top scorer of top-level players by quite some way (even if we do not know how much by).
Brazil legends Pele and Romario and Real Madrid and Hungary icon Ferenc Puskas are all somewhere in the 700s too – but numbers vary from report to report.
Lionel Messi is next on 759 goals for Argentina (80), Barcelona (672), and Paris St-Germain (seven).
Ronaldo has some way to go to beat the top three names on the RSSSF list (which all include unofficial games), Germany’s Erwin Helmchen (987+), Bican, and England’s Ronald Rooke (929+).