PELE has congratulated Cristiano Ronaldo for beating his career goals tally.
The Juventus superstar netted a hat-trick today, as Andrea Pirlo’s side downed Cagliari 3-1 in Serie A.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 36, celebrates clinching his hat-trick against Cagliari – the goals took his career tally to a whopping 770Credit: Getty Images – Getty
CR7 shares a lot of respect with Brazilian legend PeleCredit: AFP
Many believed that Ronaldo, 36, surpassed the Brazilian’s record in January, when he netted his 757th and 758th official goals against Udinese.
So some eyebrows were raised when Pele sent a tweet this afternoon, congratulating the Portuguese forward.
The 80-year-old tweeted, alongside a picture of the duo: “@Cristiano, what a beautiful journey you are having!
“I admire you a lot and this is no secret to anyone. Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches.
“I leave this photo in your honour, with great affection, as a symbol of a friendship that has existed for many years.”
Ronaldo himself took to his Facebook page to clear up the situation.
He wrote: “The last few weeks were filled with news and stats considering me the World’s Top Scorer in football history, overcoming Pele’s 757 official goals. Although I’m thankful for that recognition, now it’s time for me to explain why I didn’t acknowledge that record until this moment.
“My everlasting and unconditional admiration for mister Edson Arantes do Nascimento, such as the respect that I have for mid-20th century football, led me to take into account his 767 score, assuming his 9 goals for Sao Paulo State Team, as well as his single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals.
Pele, 80, remains one of the most decorated players in the history of footballCredit: Alamy
“The World as changed since then and football as changed as well, but this doesn’t mean that we can just erase history according to our interests.
“Today, as I reach the 770th official goal in my professional career, my first words go straight to @pele. There’s no player in the World who hasn’t been raised listening to stories about his games, his goals and his achievements, and I’m no exception.
“And for that reason, I’m filled with joy and pride as I acknowledge the goal that put’s me on top of the World’s goalscoring list, overcoming Pele’s record, something that I could never have dreamed of while growing up as a child from Madeira.
“Thanks to all of those who took part of this amazing journey with me. To my team-mates, to my opponents, to the fans of the beautiful game all over the World and, above all, to my family and close friends: trust me when I say that I couldn’t have done it without you.
Believe me, this story is still far from being over
“Now I can’t wait for the next games and challenges! The next records and trophies! Believe me, this story is still far from being over. The future is tomorrow and there’s still a lot to win for Juventus and Portugal!
“Join me in this journey! Let’s go!”
After his third effort against Cagliari, Ronaldo pointed to his ear in defiance, after facing a week of criticism following the Old Lady’s Champions League exit at the hands of Porto.
He grabbed the first after just 10 minutes, launching a trademark leap to convert a free header from Juan Cuadrado’s out-swinging corner.
And it was 2-0 around 15 minutes later, when he coolly netted from the penalty spot.
Ronaldo then wasted little time grabbing the match ball.
Federico Chiesa brilliantly launched Juve downfield on the counter-attack.
And at the end of his lung-busting run, the 23-year-old calmly found Ronaldo on the right side of the penalty area.
The former Real Madrid star chopped onto his left-foot, before rifling the ball past the helpless Alessio Cragno.
The 3-1 win sees Juve go back to within ten points of league leaders Inter Milan with a game in hand, after Antonio Conte’s side beat Juve’s city rivals Torino 2-1 earlier on Sunday.
Despite having beaten Pele’s record, Ronaldo remains behind Czech striker Igor Bican, who Fifa claim scored 805 career goals in the 1940s and 50s.
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