Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo posted a 23-minute hat trick on Sunday, leading his team to a 3-1 victory over Cagliari. This performance helped him surpass Pele's disputed tally of 767 goals and prompted a shoutout from the Brazilian soccer legend. Pele congratulated Ronaldo on social media.
The soccer legend delivered his message with a heartfelt post on Instagram. He posted a photo that showed him and Ronaldo clasping hands during an awards ceremony. Pele then offered his congratulations to his fellow soccer star while expressing his admiration. "[Cristiano], life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having!" Pele wrote on Instagram.
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"I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone," Pele continued. "Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today. But I leave this photo in your honor, with great affection, as the symbol of a friendship that has existed for many years."
Ronaldo saw the shoutout and responded with a message of his own. He commented on the post and thanked Pele for the affection and friendship. "You know that feeling is mutual," Ronaldo added. "We keep this hug for when we can be together again and hopefully it will be soon! All the best and lots of health!"
According to talkSport, Pele claims to have scored more than 1,000 goals during his illustrious career. However, he is generally credited with 757. Ronaldo, on the other hand, reached 770 on Sunday with the hat trick. He solidified his status as one of the all-time greats and said that Pele actually has 767 goals due to nine with the São Paulo State Team and another for the Brazilian Military Team.
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While Ronaldo celebrates his massive achievement, he also faces rumors of a potential exit from Juventus. However, he seemingly shut this down with a post on Instagram. Ronaldo specifically mentioned Juventus while talking about future goals.
"Now I can't wait for the next games and challenges!" Ronaldo wrote in part. "The next records and trophees (sic)! Believe me, this story is still far from being over. The future is tomorrow and there's still a lot to win for Juventus and Portugal! Join me in this journey! Let's go!"