Stats: Cristiano Ronaldo Becomes Fifth Player to Score 400 League Goals in Europe
After more than 300 minutes without finding the back of the net in Serie A, Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo finally got his goal. The Portuguese star scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Sassuolo that saw the Turin giants maintain their perfect start to the season with four wins in four games.
The second goal saw Ronaldo score his 400th goal in league football. It sees him added to a list of just four other players in history who have scored as many goals in European top-flight football.
Stuck on 398 league goals after his move to Italy, Ronaldo struggled to get on the scoresheet in the first three games. Many fans and pundits questioned his lack of goalscoring form but there wasn’t anything to be worried about.
His first goal in a Juventus shirt was probably the easiest of his career as he pounced on a mistake to grab the opener. On a Juventus corner, Gianmarco Ferrari attempted to head the ball down for his goalkeeper to collect but the ball came off the post and fell to Ronaldo who scored from a yard or two out.
However, his second goal was the icing on the cake. A Juve counter-attack saw Ronaldo burst down the left channel where he received Emre Can’s pass and took a left-footed shot across goal to beat goalkeeper Andrea Consigli.
Ronaldo could well have finished the game with a hat-trick but saw two gilt-edged chances go wide of the post. Nevertheless, Juve managed to hang on for the win despite a late fightback from Sassuolo and Douglas Costa getting sent off in stoppage time.
Ronaldo joins the elite 400-goal list
The 400th league goal in Europe (Three goals for Sporting Lisbon, 84 goals for Manchester United, 311 goals for Real Madrid, and two goals for Juventus) sees Ronaldo join a list of four players who reached the mark before him.
The player with the most goals in European top-flight football was Josef Bican, most famous for his stint with Slavia Prague. In all, the Czech-Austrian striker scored 518 league goals in Austria and the country formerly known as Czechoslovakia.
Second on the list is Ferenc Puskas who played in Hungary and Spain. The captain of the Mighty Magyars back in the 1950s, Puskas played for just two clubs – Budapest Honved and Real Madrid – where he scored 514 league goals in all.
While these two players will take some time for Ronaldo to reel in (probably another three seasons), the other two are well within reach.
Scotland’s Jimmy McGrory is third on the list with 410 league goals. The centre-forward spent his entire career at Celtic barring one season on loan. It included a season where he scored 50 league goals in the 1935/36 season.
Another player with more than 400 league goals in a single league is Germany’s Uwe Seeler who is fourth on the list. The Hamburger SV legend scored a total of 406 league goals between 1952 and 1972.
Ronaldo could easily go to No.3 on the list within the next couple of months. However, he will also be looking over his shoulder with his Ballon d’Or rival Lionel Messi currently on 387 league goals for Barcelona.