Copy of 839696-01-02-1647164296413
Ronaldo's first United hat-trick since 2008 earned his club a 3-2 win over Tottenham last night and took his overall career goal tally to 807, a new record. Image Credit: AFP

Scoring goals in football is the hardest part of the game. Ask any of the top coaches in the world and they will all tell you the same thing. Some players don’t even score in training let alone in actual competitive matches. But Cristiano Ronaldo has proven yet again that he is a genius. The Manchester United forward became the all-time leading goal scorer in football following his stunning hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspurs last night in the Premier League clash at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese superstar’s magnificent performance gave The Red Devils a 3-2 win against the north London outfit. He scored his 805th, 806th and 807th goals of his amazing professional career and the three strikes – which included a superb long-range effort and a brave header – means he has now overtaken the legendary Josef Bican as the leading scorer in the history of men’s professional football.

Stands alone

The legendary attacker now stands alone, above the likes of Pele, Romario and Lionel Messi, according to FIFA records. His accumulation of goals has come from his time at Sporting Lisbon, United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Portugal. He now has 136 goals and counting for United, adding to his 115 for Portugal, five for Sporting, 101 for Juventus and 450 for Madrid.

It is quite simply an incredible achievement and despite the fact he is 37 he is not showing any signs of slowing down which is mind-boggling. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is still playing at the top of his game and at the top level in the English Premier League, a league that is far more difficult than the Italian, Spanish, French or German leagues.

The main reason for his achievements in the game apart for his sheer talent, is his pristine physical condition. And because he still runs around like he is 27 and not 37 means he will likely still be scoring goals for many more years to come. And there is no danger of his record being surpassed, not any time soon at least. Even if Messi rediscovers his scoring touch at Paris Saint-Germain it is doubtful the Argentinian will overtake Ronaldo at the top of the pile.

Next target

The next target for the United ace now must be the 850-mark before hanging up his boots. Can he achieve this? A lot will depend on the team he plays for, if he sticks around at Old Trafford then it would seem unlikely that he would get near that mark. He will need to ply his trade for a team at the top of their game. And the only side that would be able to afford his astronomical wages would be United’s fierce neighbours City. Again, it seems highly unlikely Ronaldo would ditch red for the blue and risk upsetting the fan base just for the sake of another milestone.

He has achieved so much in the game already and I doubt we will ever see anyone in football as great as him. His United contract is up at the end of this season and it will be very interesting to see if he and the club decide to extend it. And if they wish to part ways, the big question will be where the greatest footballer of all time goes next. You can be sure there will be many, many takers.