Top goalscorers in football history as Cristiano Ronaldo passes Pele after Juventus hat-trick with Lionel Messi fifth

CRISTIANO RONALDO is closing in on becoming the top goalscorer in football history after his heroics for Juventus at the weekend.

The Portuguese legend, 36, scored a blistering hat-trick as Andrea Pirlo's side downed Cagliari 3-1 in Serie A.

After watching his treble, Pele congratulated Ronaldo on breaking his scoring record – despite the fact official numbers suggest he managed it with two goals in the 4-1 win over Udinese in January.

Officially, Pele scored 757 goals during his illustrious career, with Ronaldo's latest scoring spree taking him to 770 strikes.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward now sits behind only Josef Bican – with Fifa estimating the Austrian scored 805 career goals.

Brazilian legend Romario sits below Pele in fourth place having scored 734 goals during his career.

However, he's on the brink of slipping to fifth, with Lionel Messi continuing his charge up the charts.

The Barcelona icon, 33, has scored 730 goals – just four shy of Romario – as he bids to catch up on Ronaldo and Co.

Earlier in the season, Messi overtook German idol Gerd Muller, who managed 720 career strikes.

Hungary legend Ferenc Puskas – after whom the global Goal of the Season award is named – notched 706 goals during his time.


Eusebio' 615 strikes see him sit eighth on the list, ahead of Ferenc Deak (558) and Arthur Friedenriech (554).

But on Sunday, it was all eyes on Pele and Ronaldo, who exchanged gushing pleasantries on social media.

Pele initially tweeted a picture of the pair, captioned: "@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 replied on Facebook, stating: "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 Edson Arantes do Nascimento, such is 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.

"The World has 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."

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