Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United in 14 years. The Portuguese star helped the Old Trafford club face a tough challenge in Saturday’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur. Ronaldo scored three goals, including a stunning long-range shot to ensure United picked up three full points in a 3-2 win in front of the home crowd.
With the hat-trick, Ronaldo has also written himself into the history of professional football as the all-time top scorer. The title of all-time top goalscorer in football is hotly contested and FIFA keeps no official records, but the world governing body estimates that Austro-Czech Josef Bican scored 805 goals in his career, which spanned from 1931 to 1955, according to Reuters.
Ronaldo’s goals have been scored for Sporting, United, Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
– Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 13, 2022
Brazilian greats Romario and Pele have each scored more than 1,000 goals, but the tally includes goals from amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.
Ronaldo’s 12th-minute opener at Old Trafford was a great long-range shot that helped him set the record. The Portugal international then went past Bican with a shot from Jadon Sancho’s clean pass to put United 2-1 ahead before powerfully heading his third home to spark wild celebrations in the stands as United went 3: 2 won.
“I’m very happy with my first hat-trick since returning to Old Trafford! Nothing beats the feeling of being back on the pitch and helping the team with goals and effort.
“We proved once again that we can beat any team on any given day as long as we work hard and come together as a unit. There are no limits for Man. United! No matter what! Let’s go Devils!” Ronaldo said in an Instagram post.
The hat-trick also gives Ronaldo and Manchester United a break from all speculation after the star striker missed last week’s Manchester derby – a 3-1 loss to City – through injury. Several, including Roy Keane, had questioned whether Ronaldo was really injured. Remarkably, Ronaldo had flown back to Portugal for rehab before joining the team midweek.
The result puts United two points clear of Arsenal and back to fourth place, despite the Gunners having four games in hand, starting with Sunday’s home game against Leicester City.