sport news How Cristiano Ronaldo built himself into ultimate goal machine

Breaking records has become routine for Cristiano Ronaldo throughout his extraordinary career.

While his haul of five Champions League titles and five Ballon d'Or gongs sits high on his list of accomplishments, the 35-year-old is now on the cusp of what might be his proudest achievement.

After scoring twice against Udinese at the weekend, the Juventus star eclipsed the great Pele to go into second place in the list of all-time top goalscorers.

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the cusp of reaching goalscoring immortality this week

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the cusp of reaching goalscoring immortality this week

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The Juventus striker hit goals number 757 and 758 in a 4-1 win over Udinese on Sunday night

The Juventus striker hit goals number 757 and 758 in a 4-1 win over Udinese on Sunday night

THROUGH THE YEARS 

2002 - 5

2003 - 1

2004 - 14

2005 - 15

2006 - 24

2007 - 34

2008 - 35

2009 - 30

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2010 - 48

2011 - 60

2012 - 63

2013 - 69

2014 - 61

2015 - 57

2016 - 55

2017 - 53

2018 - 49

2019 - 38

2020 - 42

2021 - 2

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He moved to 758 career goals, and now only Josef Bican - the Austrian-Czech striker who played between 1931 and 1955 - is ahead of him.

Ronaldo needs one goal in the clash with Serie A's fifth-placed side Sassuolo on Sunday night to draw level with Bican's tally of 759. Score a brace, and he will pull clear in his own right as the greatest goalscorer of all time.

His great rival, Lionel Messi, will have something to say about that in the future, of course. The Barcelona star has 715 career goals for club and country but has played just under 150 games fewer so far and, being two years Ronaldo's junior, has time on his side. 

Ronaldo's numbers aren't just stacked by his favoured right foot. He scores six of every 10 goals with his right boot, but almost two in 10 with his left and two in 10 with his head. One goal came off his elbow, against Athletic Bilbao in the 2014-15 season, and another rebounded in off his groin for against West Ham in 2008.

Unsurprisingly the majority of his goals have come from open play - 569 of them, a stonking 75 per cent. Penalties account for 18 per cent of his goals, while he has scored 56 from free kicks.

Ronaldo is one goal from equalling Czech striker Josef Bican's (above) record of 759 goals

Ronaldo is one goal from equalling Czech striker Josef Bican's (above) record of 759 goals

Ronaldo has now overtaken Brazilian forward Pele (above) - who scored 757 career goals

Ronaldo has now overtaken Brazilian forward Pele (above) - who scored 757 career goals

And home comforts don't skew the numbers either. Only 54.75 per cent of his goals have been scored in home fixtures, while 40 per cent have come on the road.

HOW THEY WENT IN 

Right Foot - 490 (64.64 per cent)

Left foot - 135 (17.81 per cent)

Head - 131 (17.28 per cent)

Hand/arm - 1 (0.13 per cent)

Other - 1 (0.13 per cent) 

Open play - 569 (75.07 per cent)

Penalties - 133 (17.55 per cent)

Free Kicks - 56 (7.39 per cent)

Home - 415 (54.75 per cent)

Away - 304 (40.11 per cent)

Neutral - 39 (5.15 per cent)

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Neutral grounds - international tournaments, cup finals - have accounted for 39 goals, a touch over five per cent. 

But the secrets behind Ronaldo's remarkable record mean that, even well into his mid-thirties, he could feasibly still have another five years in him at the top level.

He has shown little sign of slowing down; instead he has refined his game from being a dynamic all-round superstar into the ultimate goal machine. 

In 2018 he insisted that he actually has a 'biological age' of 23, and claimed 'I can keep playing until I'm 41'. 

He may not be as fast as he once was - halting the inevitable passage of time remains beyond his powers, but he has taken steps to make sure he is always

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