Cristiano Ronaldo can break Saudi League record to cap record-breaking year

Cristiano Ronaldo changes retirement plan as he refuses to let go of Lionel Messi rivalry

Cristiano Ronaldo could break yet another record as his resurgence continues with Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia following a mixed spell at Manchester United. The legendary forward has already set the record for most goals scored during the calendar year after notching more strikes than Kylian Mbappe.

His record of 53 goals in 58 appearances during the calendar year put him above European heavyweights including Mbappe of PSG, who scored 52 goals in 53 matches in 2023. Harry Kane, who has represented both Tottenham and Bayern Munich during the last 12 months, has 52 goals in 57 matches, while Erling Haaland of Manchester City has scored 50 goals in 60 matches.

The 38-year-old does trail both Mbappe and Kane when international strikes are added into the mix, however. Even so, the achievement represents a turnaround in fortunes for five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who left Manchester United under something of a cloud in January 2023 – having scored once in 10 games in his second campaign since his return to Old Trafford.

The Portuguese legend’s move to the Saudi Pro League does appear to have rejuvenated him and he leads the division’s goalscoring standings as things stand. His 19 strikes in 17 appearances follow on from a similarly impressive showing last season, where he notched 14 times in 16 games.

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to break records following his move to Al-Nassr in the Saudi Pro League (Image: Getty)

Added together, this means that the former Real Madrid icon has some 33 goals to his name during 2023, which puts him in a strong position to break yet another record. This time around, the the Al-Nassr marksman can break the record for most goals scored across a calendar record if he can out-do Abderrazak Hamdallah’s previous haul of 35 goals.

The Moroccan, currently a teammate of fellow Los Blancos stalwart Karim Benzema at Al Ittihad, set the record during the 2018/19 campaign while turning out for Al-Nassr. It appears that Ronaldo has his sights set on another individual milestone after scoring twice in his team’s brace clash with Al Ittihad.

The former Manchester United hero drew level with Omar Al Somah’s record of 33 goals after netting a brace of penalties in an impressive 5-2 victory over their rivals. The aforementioned Hamdallah was on hand to score twice for Al Ittihad during the encounter.

Don’t miss…
Transfer news as Man Utd eye £43m Antony swap and Ronaldo to Arsenal teased [LATEST]
Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were brought back down to earth at Xmas meal [LATEST]
Cristiano Ronaldo refusing penalty just one of six times he showed true colours [LATEST]

However, Ronaldo led his team to a crucial win in the Pro League title race, with former teammate Benzema even conceding a spot kick – which the former duly converted. During a fraught clash, ex-Liverpool star Fabinho was dismissed for Al Ittihad, while his one-time Anfield colleague Sadio Mane scored twice for Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo will now have the chance to break the record for most goals in a calendar year in his team’s match against Al-Taawoun on December 30. If he does score the three goals he needs to set a new record, this would be the sixth time he has won the coveted IFFHS World’s Best Top Goal Scorer award.

This would extend the ex-Juventus forward’s dominance of this gong, which is rewarded to the player in world football who has scored the most goals during each given calendar year. His current record of five wins is more than any footballer in history.