Ronaldo’s Insatiable Appetite for Record Breaking
By TOI Editor September 28, 2022 Update on : September 28, 2022
Even as he reaches the veteran stages of his brilliant career, Cristiano Ronaldo has set his sights on more individual records. After twenty years at the top with Sporting Lisbon, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, CR7 has set some milestones that are unlikely to ever be matched.
As he looks to provide impetus for United in 2022/23, the club are ranked as an 11/2 chance to finish inside the Premier League’s top two. Current Premier League odds suggest that the Red Devils face plenty of competition this season but, if Ronaldo is at the top of his game, anything is possible.
Cristiano Ronaldo has set records with all of his four professional clubs to date. He’s also achieved a notable milestone through his three most recent employers, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.
After finishing as the top scorer in Serie A in 2021, Ronaldo became the first player to win the highest goalscorer awards in England, Spain and Italy. This was a serious endorsement of his quality and his longevity, but his appetite for goals extends way beyond domestic competitions.
His Nation’s Finest
Some of the more notable records held by Cristiano Ronaldo have been set while on international duty with Portugal. As he prepares for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the 37-year-old currently has 117 goals from 189 games.
Both of those numbers represent national records and these are two of his landmarks that may never be matched. Ronaldo’s closest rival in terms of caps is Joao Moutinho. The midfielder is still playing internationally, but is 36 years old and is adrift by 146 appearances to 189.
When it comes to goal scoring, no other Portuguese player comes remotely close. The previous record for this national team was 47, set by Pauleta.
117 goals is already a world record. Of those still playing the game, Ronaldo’s great rival Lionel Messi is the closest to that mark with 86 goals.
There are just two players ahead of CR7 in the list of international appearances. Soh Chin Ann of Malaysia has 195 FIFA-recognised caps and he is long retired. Bader Al-Mutawa of Kuwait is still playing and has 196 caps.
Potentially, this is another world record within Ronaldo’s sights but much will depend on whether 37-year-old Al-Mutawa decides to retire any time soon.
Champions League Success
The majority of Cristiano Ronaldo’s individual records were set during his time with Real Madrid. The Portuguese international spent nine years at the Bernabeu and this was his peak period as a player.
Real are, themselves, record breakers as the club with most Champions League wins in history. Ronaldo has scored four goals in UCL finals and this was another notable milestone.
Europe’s elite club competition has also provided the backdrop for a number of additional records set by this remarkable player. He has the most goals scored in a UCL season with 17, he was the first player to record 100 wins in the competition and he was the first to reach 100 Champions League goals.
How has Cristiano Ronaldo been able to set so many records across his career? Sheer brilliance is an obvious reason but there is more to it than his star quality. A peak fitness regime is vital, but the player also pays special attention to his dietary requirements.
A typical day in the life of Ronaldo involves eating high protein meals with lots of carbohydrates. Sugar and alcohol are avoided. There are no great surprises here, but it’s interesting to note that the player will tend to eat six small meals a day. Clearly the plan is working.
Targets to Aim for
Cristiano Ronaldo will be 38 by the time that the 2022/23 Premier League season comes to an end. Speculation over his future at Manchester United has been rife since the start of the summer, but it seems clear that he wants to play on.
His supreme fitness levels suggest that he could still emulate Swedish international Zlatan Ibrahimovic who continued to play into his early 40s.
That would leave time for CR7 to aim for the few world records that remain in his sights. The possibility of winning the most caps at the international level is a genuine one but much will depend on the future of his main rival Bader Al-Mutawa.
Ronaldo would also like to overtake Lionel Messi who currently holds the record for the most Ballon D’Or awards. Supporters of the Portuguese international would argue that CR7 has achieved more in the game and that he deserves more accolades.
As of 2022, Messi has seven Ballon D’Or awards compared to Ronaldo’s five. Time is running out for this record but few would be surprised if this exceptional athlete catches up.
A Fitting End?
When the World Cup is played in Qatar later this year, Cristiano Ronaldo has the ability to extend one of his existing records. At the previous tournament in Russia, the Portuguese star became the oldest player to hit a World Cup hat trick at the age of 33 years and 130 days.
It’s actually a little sad to note that many of the few records that he has left to aim for involve his advancing age. The World Cup can provide another platform in that respect, but let’s hope there are many more milestones for this incredible player to achieve.