Cristiano Ronaldo overtook Pele as the second-highest goalscorer of all-time with a brace for Juventus in their 4-1 win against Udinese on Sunday.
The Portuguese forward scored his 757th and 758th goal of his illustrious career with the goals coming in either half as Andrea Pirlo’s side moved up to fifth in the Serie A table.
Pele registered 757 goals during his career for Santos, New York Cosmos and Brazil between 1956 and 1977, but now sits third in the all-time list with Ronaldo now one behind Josef Bican’s total of 759.
Ronaldo can equal then eclipse Bican when Juventus visit AC Milan on Wednesday night which will be a crucial match for the Serie A champions’ title defence.
Juventus sit ten points behind leaders Milan with a game in hand, though three points against Stefano Pioli’s side could haul them back into Scudetto contention.
Ronaldo now has 656 club career goals since his first season at Sporting Lisbon back in 2002, with the majority of the goals coming at Real Madrid.
The 35-year-old scored 450 goals in 438 appearances while playing in the Spanish capital though Ronaldo also has an esteemed goal tally on the international stage too.
The forward has 102 goals in 120 matches for Portugal and that tally is expected to grow as Fernando Santos’ side look to defend their European Championships title this summer.
It means former Manchester United man Ronaldo averages a whopping 42 goals-a-season over his 18-year career for both club and country.
Meanwhile, Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is behind Ronaldo in the all-time record for club and country with 742 goals, though the Argentinian forward has managed this total by playing 200 fewer career games than the Juventus star.
Messi also holds the record for the most goals scored for a single club – 644 goals – another record previously held by Pele until the Barcelona man broke it last month with a goal against Valladolid.
The Argentine has since given a bottle of Budweiser to every single goalkeeper he has scored against, with shot stoppers receiving multiple bottles if they conceded more than one goal.
Pele’s former club Santos, however, released a statement that Messi did not break the Brazilian forward’s record last month as he actually scored 1,091 during his 20th-century career.
Ronaldo’s brace against Juventus, meanwhile, was his 14th league goal of the season with the 35-year-old currently leading the Italian top-flight’s scoring charts.
Super League: Africa’ll Learn From Europe, Says CAF President
CAF president Patrice Motsepe believes Africa can succeed where Europe failed and launch a Super League, according to a statement released by the continental organisation on Sunday.
“We have been following attempts by some top European clubs to form a Super League and will learn from their experience and pitfalls,” said the South African.
“In this regard, we are assessing and in preliminary discussions to start an inclusive, broadly supported and beneficial African Super League.”
Negative supporter reaction prevented Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus launching a Super League recently.
But Motsepe is pushing forward after FIFA president Gianni Infantino told CAF officials last year that he favoured 20 permanent African Super League members and additional competitors through qualifying.
Infantino did not give details as to how the Super League might work and whether it would complement or replace the current marquee club competition, the CAF Champions League.
He did suggest, however, that each permanent member should contribute $20 mn annually — a target even the richest African clubs would find hard to meet.
The Champions League and second-tier CAF Confederation Cup prize money was supposed to increase for the 2021/2024 cycle, but Motsepe made no mention of increases.
Champions currently pocket $2.5 million (2.1 mn euros) and Confederation Cup winners $1.25 mn and even clubs who go all the way have complained that they do not break even, with travel a huge expense.
Motsepe said TV rights are receiving “serious attention” with Johannesburg-based pan-African station SuperSport not screening CAF national team or club games since mid-2019 because of a cancelled contract.
CAF ditched a $1 billion TV and marketing deal with France-based company Lagardere Sports two years ago after two courts ruled that it was improperly awarded.
AFP understands that many African officials were angered that CAF got $1 bn for a 12-year deal while Asia received $4 bn for an eight-year contract that did not involve Lagardere.
Motsepe reiterated that the poor state of some stadiums was another priority with CAF recently telling nine nations that proposed venues for 2022 World Cup qualifiers were not up to international standards.
DONE DEAL: Barcelona Announce Signing of Memphis Depay
This is a case of third time lucky for Barcelona, as they tried to lure the 27-year-old to the Camp Nou last summer and again in January, but they have now got their man.
Memphis joins on a free and has put pen to paper on a contract until 2023, with the Dutch forward fulfilling his dream of playing for the Blaugrana.
Barcelona came into this summer transfer window looking to improve in attack, and the arrival of Memphis does just that. In 37 appearances in all competitions for Lyon in the 2020/21 campaign, he scored 21 goals and provided 13 assists.
Now, Barcelona fans can enjoy their new forward in action for the Netherlands at this summer’s European Championship.
New Record: Ronaldo Becomes First Person To Reach 300m Instagram Followers
Cristiano Ronaldo may be known as a record goalscorer, but the Portuguese icon has also claimed another accolade – the first person to reach 300m Instagram followers.
The 36-year-old is a long way clear of second-placed Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on 246m, with Ariana Grande third (244m) on the list.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo’s football rival, Barcelona and Real Madrid’s Lionel Messi, is 81m followers adrift on 219m, sitting seventh in the overall table.
In fact, the only account on the social media platform which has more followers is the official Instagram account itself on 397m.
It comes after Ronaldo broke another record in Portugal’s 3-0 win over Hungary, with his two goals moving him past France’s Michel Platini as the all-time record European Championship goalscorer with a total of 11.
Overall, Ronaldo has 106 goals for Portugal and trails only Iran’s Ali Daei (109 goals) for the most international goals in history.
Meanwhile, Portugal head coach Fernando Santos has said his side cannot rely on Cristiano Ronaldo to win matches single-handedly ahead of a tantalising Euro 2020 showdown with Germany.
While Santos is delighted to have 36-year-old Juventus forward Ronaldo at his disposal, he is eager to ensure his entire squad remain ready to contribute.
“I have to motivate every single player, not just Ronaldo for instance. Portugal’s value is based on our team,” Santos told a press conference.
“It’s great to have Ronaldo on our side, we’re very proud to have him but Cristiano alone cannot win a match.
“We will want everyone to be motivated: the starting 11 and those who are brought on.
“It’s important to be motivated but also focused. The will to win is very important, what comes from inside, from within from your soul, that’s what creates this amazing desire to win.
“We have to want to win but we have to know how to win because one without the other is useless.”
Victory for Portugal at the Allianz Arena would guarantee a place in the knockout stages, while leaving their opponents on the brink of elimination.
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