Cristiano Ronaldo has boldly claimed that “records follow me”, with the Manchester United superstar channelling his inner Zlatan Ibrahimovic when it comes to talking up his greatness on a global stage.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has made a habit of re-writing the history books over the course of a remarkable career at the very highest level, with a standing as an all-time icon already safely secured.
He is now 37 years of age and edging towards a day when boots will have to be hung up, but he has been showing no sign of slowing down at Old Trafford and is eager to point out that he remains in the record-breaking business.
The legendary Portuguese forward has told United’s ‘Player Diaries’ of continuously raising the bar of individual brilliance, with more honours about to be chased down in 2022-23 under the guidance of new boss Erik ten Hag: “The records, it’s coming in a natural way.
“I don’t follow the records but the records follow me. So it’s good.
“It’s still my motivation to carry on. Just working hard.
“I still love the passion for the game. And of course Manchester and my team-mates helped me all the way so I have to appreciate all the people who help Cristiano.
“But the most important thing for me is to try to win the games and try to win some championship or some cup but I believe that Manchester will be where they belong. Sometimes it takes time, but I still believe.”
Ronaldo did, however, register 24 goals across all competitions at club level while cementing his legacy as an international superstar.
In March, when netting a hat-trick against Tottenham, he passed Josef Biscan to become FIFA’s all-time leading goalscorer in competitive matches.
He has already become the highest-scoring player in the history of men’s international football, with 115 goals for Portugal to his name, while also being the top marksman in Champions League competition on 140 efforts.
Ronaldo has more international caps (187) than any other European player, boasts the most appearances in the UEFA Team of the Year (15), is Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer (450) and is the only player to have scored 50-plus goals in seven consecutive calendar years.
Countless other records have been broken by a modern-day phenomenon, with even eternal rival Lionel Messi unable to prevent him from dominating domestic and international scenes.