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Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus forward on verge of 1,000th senior appearance

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to make the 1,000th senior appearance of his illustrious career when Juventus travel to SPAL in Serie A on Saturday.

The Portugal star has played 835 games in club football and 164 on the international stage, scoring 724 goals in the process.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s extraordinary career began at Sporting in Lisbon, where he made 31 appearances from 2002 to 2003 before moving to Manchester United, aged 18.

After six years and 292 appearances at United, Ronaldo joined Real Madrid in 2009 and remained there until 2018 when he made the switch to Juventus.

As can been seen by the table below, Ronaldo really hit his scoring stride in the 2006-07 season when he struck more than 20 goals in a season for the first time. The consistency since then has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Ronaldo has got better with age, particularly at international level. After hitting single-figure totals in his first 10 seasons with Portugal, he has scored 10 or more goals in three of the past four seasons.

Who has he scored the most goals for?

Real Madrid have benefited most from Ronaldo’s rich form – 450 of his 724 career goals having been scored for the Spanish giants, for whom he made 438 appearances – considerably more than for any other team.

He scored five goals in his 31 games for Sporting, 118 in 292 appearances for Manchester United, 99 in 164 for Portugal and is currently on 52 in 72 for Juventus.

Who has he scored the most goals against?

Of his 724 goals during his career, 27 have come against Sevilla – his favourite opponents.

The English club he has scored the most against in all competitions are Tottenham Hotspur (10).

His first career hat-trick was for Manchester United against Newcastle in a 6-0 win on 12 January 2008.

He has gone on to score 55 further hat-tricks but amazingly that first one was the only time he hit a treble in a match for United.

His latest hat-trick came against Cagliari in a 4-0 win for Juventus on 6 January this year.

1,000th game… or is it?

There is a little caveat in Ronaldo’s appearance record.

Two of his 999 games so far were with Sporting B – their reserve team. The first of those actually came after his full debut for the first team.

Before you say those matches do not count, the second string play in the same league system as Primera Liga side Sporting – think of it as like a Liverpool B team playing in League Two – therefore it still counts as senior level football.

But, given Ronaldo did not score in either of those two appearances and discounting them would mean he would in fact bring up his 1,000th game against Juventus’ rivals Inter Milan next weekend, maybe the man himself would prefer that they did not count.

He is a player for the big occasions after all…

The landmark moments

When Ronaldo finally decides to retire, he will be able to look back on many happy moments from his career. Here we take a look at some his landmark games.

Game one – his Sporting debut

Sporting Lisbon 0-0 Inter Milan – 14 August 2002

A fresh-faced Ronaldo makes his Sporting debut in the third qualifying round of the Champions League aged 17 years 190 days

Game 34 – makes his Manchester United debut

Manchester United 4-0 Bolton Wanderers – 16 August 2003

Ronaldo makes his Manchester United debut after a £12.2m move from Sporting

Game 80 – collects first major honour as a player

Manchester United 3-0 Millwall – 22 May 2004

Ronaldo wins his first major trophy – the FA Cup – scoring in Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Millwall in the final

Game 83 – first international goal

Portugal 1-2 Greece – 12 June 2004

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his first international goal as hosts Portugal lose in the group stage to Greece at Euro 2004

Game 303 – first career hat-trick

Manchester United 6-0 Newcastle – 12 January 2008

Ronaldo scores his first hat-trick as Manchester United thrash Newcastle 6-0 in the Premier League

Game number 393 – opening his account in Madrid

Real Madrid 3-2 Deportivo La Coruna – 29 August 2009

Ronaldo marks his Real Madrid debut by scoring a 35th-minute penalty

Game 518 – a century of Real goals

Lyon 0-2 Real Madrid – 2 November 2011

Another penalty brings up Ronaldo’s 100th Real Madrid goal in his 105th game for the club

Game 577 – first Champions League hat-trick

Ajax 1-4 Real Madrid – 3 October 2012

After beating Ajax in the group stages, Real Madrid go on to the semi-finals of the 2012-13 Champions League

Game 633 – first Portugal hat-trick

Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal – 6 September 2013

Ronaldo’s second-half hat-trick ensures Portugal come back from 2-1 down to win a World Cup qualifier in Belfast

Game 731 – Ronaldo hits five goals in a game

Real Madrid 9-1 Granada – 5 April 2015

Ronaldo hits a first-half hat-trick in the thrashing of Granada on his way to scoring five

Game 758 – breaks Raul’s Real Madrid scoring record

Real Madrid 3-0 Levante – 17 October 2015

Ronaldo’s 324th goal for Real Madrid secures him the club scoring record

Game 849 – becomes first player to score 100 Champions League goals

Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern Munich – 18th April 2017

Ronaldo’s hat-trick in a quarter-final win over Bayern Munich takes him to 100 Champions League goals a full 330 days before Lionel Messi

Game 901 – nets his 50th career hat-trick

Real Madrid 6-3 Girona – 18 March 2018

Ronaldo ends up with more than a hat-trick against Girona – scoring four times

Game 921 – Ronaldo opens Juventus account

Juventus 2-1 Sassuolo – 16 September 2018

Ronaldo scores both goals against Sassuolo in his fourth game for the club

Article courtesy of BBC Sport
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