Cristiano Ronaldo became the leading goalscorer in FIFA history with a stunning hat-trick in Manchester United’s crucial 3-2 victory over top-four rivals Tottenham.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, 37, was sat one behind Austrian-Czech Josef Bican prior to kick-off but wasted no time in matching the remarkable feat, scoring his 805th goal with a sensational long-range strike after just 12 minutes.
The legendary Portuguese attacker added two further goals either side of half-time and now stands alone, above the likes of Pele, Romario and Lionel Messi, on 807 goals, according to FIFA records.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the leading scorer in FIFA history with his 807th career goal
Ronaldo surpassed Czech-Austrian striker Josef Bican’s (above) record of 805 on Saturday
Ronaldo’s 49th club career hat-trick gave Manchester United a crucial 3-2 win over Tottenham
Ronaldo’s extraordinarily tally of goals are comprised of his strikes while playing for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United – over two spells – Real Madrid, Juventus and the Portugal national team.
The veteran now has 136 goals and counting for United, adding to his 115 for Portugal, five for Sporting, 101 for Juventus and 450 for Madrid.
Ronaldo’s latest hat-trick, incredibly the 49th of his club career, were pivotal to United’s victory over Tottenham, which moved the Manchester club above Arsenal into fourth place, though having played four games more.
It was Ronaldo who gave United the lead early on, firing a sensational 30-yard strike into the top corner and past a hapless Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal.
Harry Kane levelled from the spot, but Ronaldo ensured United went into half-time with a 2-1 lead, diverting Jadon Sancho’s cross home to score the goal that officially moved him above Bican.
United were again pegged back by courtesy of a Harry Maguire own goal, but Ronaldo then secured all three points with a towering header nine minutes from time.
Social media erupted following Ronaldo’s latest feat, with United’s official Twitter account simply stating: ‘806. @Cristiano. Professional football’s all-time leading goalscorer.
One fan added: ‘Started as a midfielder, then became a winger, now currently a striker. 806 goals. Incredible’
Social media erupted after Ronaldo broke the record with his 806th goal, before he went on to win the game with his 807th
Though now taking the official record, Ronaldo was actually believed to have moved above Bican in January last year, when he scored his 760th career goal in Juventus’ 2-0 Italian Super Cup win over Napoli.
However, less than 24 hours after Ronaldo thought he had become the outright leader, the Czech FA refuted the claim, finding a season in the record books that they had missed when calculating Bican’s total haul.
A tweet published by the Czech FA dismissed Ronaldo’s claim to the No 1 spot, writing: ‘The History and Statistics committee of the Czech FA counted all the goals scored by the legendary Josef Bican and we can declare he scored 821 goals in official matches.’
Offering more information, the Czech FA’s head of committee, Jaroslav Kolar, said: ‘Who is the best goalscorer in football history? Josef Bican or Cristiano Ronaldo? Simple question but complicated answer.
‘Mainly because from the whole amount of Bican’s goals you have to pick just the official ones, which is complicated. Our history and statistics committee of Czech FA started to deal with this problem.
‘We based our research on statistics from prestigious international statistical websites that state 805 goals with notice that goals scored by Bican in 1952 in the Czech second division for Hradec Kralove are missing.
‘We managed to find them – 53 goals in 26 games – and we also double-checked every detail about Bican’s league, cup and international matches.
‘After that we came out with the official number of Bican’s scored goals. On behalf of the history and statistics committee of Czech FA, we can proclaim that Josef Bican scored 821 goals in official matches.’
Regardless of the statistic the Czech FA found last year, it’s Ronaldo who now sits at the top of the charts.