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Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his 800th career goal with teammates during the English Premier League match against Arsenal at Old Trafford. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Cristiano Ronaldo has seen, done and won everything but his latest feat is perhaps the most ludicrous of his illustrious career. He has become the first player in football history to score 800 goals. And he hasn’t needed an obscene amount of games like 5,000 or so to get them – just 1,097.

Never one to rest on his laurels, moments after that record strike in the Premier League clash at Old Trafford against Arsenal, he promptly got his 801st to secure a 3-2 win for Manchester United. That double took him to 130 goals across two spells for the Red Devils, adding to five for Sporting Lisbon, 450 for Real Madrid, 101 for Juventus and 115 for Portugal.

Glittering career

Without a doubt, the 36-year-old – who has done the business in England, Spain and Italy – is the greatest player of all time. He is the all-time top scorer in men’s international football, in the Champions League and for Real Madrid. He got his first ever goal almost two decades ago for his boyhood club in Portugal but nobody would have predicted it would the first of 800 in a glittering career that has seen him win countless titles, golden boots and Ballon d’Ors.

Ronaldo’s heroics during his first stint at Old Trafford and subsequent move to Real is well documented but it is perhaps the last three years of his career where he has impressed and surprised us all the most. He moved to Juventus in 2018 on the wrong side of 30 but still scored 101 goals in 134 appearances for the Old Lady. And now back at United – the club where he first announced himself on the world stage – he is still a handful.

We’re talking about a guy who is well into the twilight of his career and for all intent and purposes ought to be slowing down and finding goals and games hard to come by. But, the opposite is happening. He remains in incredible physical condition and does not appear to have lost even a yard of that explosive pace while the bag of tricks - that have bamboozled the best defenders in the world - has grown.

Stunning displays

He is still a goal-scoring machine. He has scored 12 goals in 16 games this season. Sure, United have struggled and look off the pace compared to the likes of Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea – but Ronaldo deserves huge credit for his stunning individual displays.

Some feel he won’t be able to adapt to the hard pressing style of new interim manager Ralf Rangnick but we’re not talking about an ordinary human being here. Ronaldo is basically Superman without the cape and it is plausible he could reach 1,000 goals before he retires from the game.