With his decisive brace against Parma on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo has taken his Serie A goal tally to 17, becoming the leading scorer in the process. It was not meant to happen, but it is happening. Cristiano Ronaldo is still shattering records, against all the odds, against the natural order of things.
The Portuguese superstar, who turned 34 on Tuesday, has always been stubborn. He has won every individual honour there is, but his hunger is still insatiable as ever. At Real Madrid, Ronaldo had the world at his feet. Three consecutive Champions League titles and a La Liga sandwiched in between, most players would’ve begged to continue living the ‘dream.’ Then again, Ronaldo has always been an anomaly, an arrogant one at that.
ℹ️ Cristiano Ronaldo = #UCL legend ✔️
🏆 Most final wins in history: 5
⚽️ All-time competition top scorer: 121
🔥 Most goals in a single season: 17
🥇 Only player to score in 3 finals
😮 Only player to score in 11 straight games
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 5, 2019
Juventus embraced the opportunity with open arms and snapped up the five-time Ballon d’Or winner. £105.30m and a lucrative contract later, Ronaldo landed in Turin, prepared to take on his newest challenge.
“I’m here because it’s a brand new challenge for my career,” he said.
“It’s a big club and usually players of my age go to Qatar or to China, with all due respect, so coming to such an important and outstanding club at this point in my career makes me very happy. That’s why I’m very grateful to Juventus for this opportunity.”
He wasn’t too familiar with Serie A and took a bit of time to settle in. Juventus head coach, Massimiliano Allegri, gave him all the time he needed to get himself accustomed, insisting the veteran would come good. And soon enough, good he came. After enduring an unusual three-game goalless run, he opened his Juventus account with a match-winning brace against Sassuolo on September 16th.
The Bianconeri got a glimpse of their biggest superstar, his unmatched ferocity. At Juventus, Ronaldo has also been an astute orchestrator. Italian football doesn’t allow much space for the Portuguese to stretch his legs, so, he drops deep to get hold of the ball and be more involved. 7 assists in 22 Serie A appearances show how effective his ‘non-existent’ playmaking has been.
Also Read: Zlatan slams Ronaldo for joining Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo has a knack for defying odds, and Juventus have given him the perfect opportunity to extend his legacy. The Portuguese has always been obsessed with fitness, with perfection. Throughout his career, he has been slated for making the most out of negligible contacts, for going to ground too easily. Every single step he has taken so far in his career has been to prolong his stay, to maintain his position as the best in the world.
Happy 34th Birthday, Cristiano Ronaldo! 👑 pic.twitter.com/gnP3pT853d
— Goal (@goal) February 5, 2019
The Messi vs Ronaldo debate is genuinely a pointless practice. Both superstars have their strengths as well as weaknesses. The Barcelona man, arguably, is technically superior and oozes sophistication. Ronaldo, on the other hand, is all about explosiveness and determination. He is fully aware of his limitations but still continues to challenge himself, to push his limits. If Ronaldo were like other famous Ballon d’Or winners, he probably would have hung up his boots or moved to a less demanding league in search of an even bigger paycheque. Thankfully, the 34-year-old is unlike any other footballing superstar we have come across. Thankfully, he is just as hungry as he was the day he first walked on to the pitch.