Cristiano Ronaldo on Tuesday became the first player to score at least 20 goals in the past 12 seasons in a European Championship top five to continue to seal one of the few individual prizes he has yet to win: the top scorer of Serie A.
The Portuguese striker led a calm final in front of Spezia goalkeeper Ivan Provedel in a 3-0 Serie A victory for the Italian champions to mark the 600th league appearance of his career in typical fashion.
He has now reached the 20-goal mark in every season since his debut campaign at Real Madrid in 2009-10, with his highest record in 2014-15 when he scored 48 goals in 35 La Liga games for the Spanish club. .
The 36-year-old is currently two goals clear of Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku atop the Serie A scorecard as he aims for his first ‘capocannonière’ crown in Italy.
Ronaldo scored 21 goals in his first season in Turin in 2018-19 to finish fourth in the league scorecard, five behind Sampdoria’s top scorer Fabio Quagliarella.
The following year he found the net 31 times but was denied first place by the sensational form of Lazio’s Ciro Immobile, who tied the Serie A season-long scoring record with 36 strikes. .
Ronaldo has won back-to-back league titles and the 2018-19 Player of the Season award since arriving in Italy, but the Serie A top scorer award remains unclaimed for now.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner won the Premier League Golden Boot with Manchester United in 2007-08 and finished top scorer in La Liga three times during his stint with Real Madrid.
He was seven times top scorer in the Champions League to become the competition’s all-time top scorer with 134 goals and won the European Golden Boot four times.
Ronaldo was hailed as the most prolific professional goalscorer in the game’s history in January after scoring his 760th career goal, but the record is hotly contested and FIFA’s global governing body does not keep an official tally.
Although Ronaldo is enjoying another prolific season, his side are lagging behind in their attempt to win a tenth consecutive Serie A title.
Andrea Pirlo’s side are third in the table, seven points behind Inter in first place and three behind second-placed AC Milan with 14 games to go.
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