Cristiano Ronaldo will not retire until he has beaten Pele’s 1281 goalscoring record with 556 to go, claims Neville


CRISTIANO RONALDO will not retire until he has beaten Pele’s goalscoring record, according to Gary Neville.

Ronaldo, who remains in phenomenal physical shape at the age of 37, is credited with 817 goals as a professional.

The Manchester United ace scored his 700th club goal in yesterday’s 2-1 win over Everton.

And he’s also bagged an incredible 117 for Portugal… so far.

His jaw-dropping tally has seen him become Real Madrid’s all-time leading goalscorer, and he banged in a fair few while playing for Juventus too.

Ronaldo netted 450 times for Real, 101 times for Juve, five times for Sporting Lisbon – and now 144 for United.

But it is still someway short of Brazil icon Pele, who according to records scored 1,281 goals in 1,363 appearances.

However, his tally included goals scored in friendlies, so Ronaldo currently sits some 464 short.

Ronaldo’s former team-mate Neville believes the Portuguese hero’s obsession with being regarded as the greatest footballer of all time means he wants to topple Pele.

Neville told Sky Sports back in 2020: “It’s an obsession, an absolute obsession with scoring goals, applying yourself every day, being the fittest he can possibly be.

“I think he’s lifted his professionalism retire every single year and progressed.

“I’ve got no doubts he wants to play, and Jamie [Carragher] mentioned James Milner wants to play into his late 30s – 40, I think he [Ronaldo] has a plan to take over Pele’s record.

“I genuinely believe he wants to beat Pele’s numbers, that’s where I think he’s at in his mind.

“He wants to be the greatest of all time and that is his sole purpose, understanding along the way if he is the greatest of all time the teams he plays in will win trophies and be successful.”

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