The debate over which footballer is better — Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo — will rage on for years to come. Fans of Ronaldo now have one major state to throw out when claiming the Portuguese legend is, in fact, the greatest of all-time.
Ronaldo recently passed Josef Bican for the most goals scored for club and country in football history. The Juventus forward scored his 760th career goal. Ronaldo has already scored 85 goals since moving to Juventus in 2018.
Cristiano Ronaldo: A goalscoring legend
A large majority of Ronaldo’s goals came while playing with Real Madrid. The forward scored 450 goals during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu.
While Cristiano Ronaldo is football’s all-time leading scorer, there is a debate over whether Bican actually scored more goals during his career. The Czech Republic Football Association claim that Bican scored 821 goals between 1931 and 1955.
Unlike Ronaldo’s goals, few people would have seen his goals outside of those who attended each game. Modern-day statistics allow for greater tracking of every goal. Most of — if not all of — Ronaldo’s matches since becoming a professional have been televised. The same cannot be said for Bican.
The number of goals put up by Bican is not the only ones in question. Pele scored a reported 757 career goals. However, many of these goals have also been called into question. Some claim Pele scored even more than what he is credited for. How many goals then? It is claimed by some that Pele actually scored 1,283 career goals. But like Bican, we don’t have reliable stats to confirm the number.
Ronaldo may still have several seasons left in him. The Portuguese player remains in great shape and is one of the most dedicated footballers around. It is believed he could play well into his 40s — if he wants to. This means Ronaldo could score even more goals.
How close is Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo’s current goal tally? As of Jan 23, 2021, Messi has scored 719 goals.