Football Features

Ten Serie A records and feats Cristiano Ronaldo has swept up since joining Juventus

By Ben Green

Published: 20:00, 27 December 2020

Football has experienced drastic changes over the years with the introduction of VAR, the new handball rule and Financial Fair Play, but one thing has remained constant throughout: Cristiano Ronaldo’s record-breaking ability.

At 35 most normal footballers would be thinking about slowing down, looking for one final payday across the Atlantic or in the Far East, possibly even considering their coaching badges, but Ronaldo — recently named ‘player of the century’ — at Globe Soccer Awards is no ordinary footballer. The Portuguese superstar is still operating at the highest peak of football, donning the colours of European gentry and scoring goals for fun.

Indeed Ronaldo is a player who has made the extraordinary pretty ordinary. Twenty goals a season is par for the course where CR7’s concerned, but you have to admit, even his 35-haul this term is rather spectacular for a player of his age. 

There was no Capocannoniere this time round as Ciro Immobile pipped him to the post, but since Ronaldo traded the Bernabeu for Turin, he has been smashing records left, right and centre; realigning the standards in Italian football and leaving his mark in emphatic fashion.

Here, we recognise the achievements made by Ronaldo in Serie A since moving to Juventus in 2018 with every record broken by the Portuguese superstar so far.

1. Fastest to a half century

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo is the fastest player to score 50 goals in Serie A (61 appearances).

A three-minute brace scored by the five-time Ballon d’Or winner against Lazio in July 2020 ensured Ronaldo netted the fastest half century in the Serie A, doing so in just 61 games. The previous holder of that record was a certain Andriy Shevchenko, who scored his 50 goals in 68 games for AC Milan.

2. A 30+ trifecta

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player to score 30+ league goals in a single season in three of Europe’s top-five divisions.

That 2-1 win against Lazio in Turin also brought up Ronaldo’s 30th goal for the season, meaning he’s netted 30+ goals in a single season in Serie A, the Premier League and La Liga. In 2007/08 he bagged an outrageous 31 goals for Manchester United and, well, take your pick from his Real Madrid career, as he managed 30+ in six separate campaigns in the Spanish capital.

3. Most consecutive goals

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo is one of only three players to score at least one goal in 11 consecutive Serie A games.

Not so much a record broken as a record matched. The Portugal ace went on an 11-game scoring streak earlier this season, with that purple patch matching Serie A royalty in Fabio Quagliarella (2018/19) and Gabriel Batistuta (1994/95). In those 11 games, Ronaldo netted 16 goals but fired a blank at the end of February against Inter. There’s always next season. 

It is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility for a player who defies logic on a weekly basis. He’ll be 36 next season, but he is still Ballon d’Or material and is currently Juventus’ second-most valuable player, according to Football Index*.

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4. Most consecutive Juve goals

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo is the first Juventus player to score in 10 successive Serie A games.

He may be level for most successive Serie A goals, but for the Old Lady he’s top of the pile. Indeed Ronaldo is the only player in Serie A history to rack up consecutive goals in 10+ games for the Bianconeri. He is simply in a league of his own.

5. The Portuguese pinnacle

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals in Serie A than any other Portuguese player.

Move aside Rui Costa and Luis Figo, Ronaldo is aiming to leave the biggest mark on Italian soil. Indeed the 35-year-old has thus far netted more goals in Serie A than any other Portuguese player and that figure, currently at 64, is only going to increase in the coming years.

6. A hat-trick of hat-tricks

Feat: Cristiano Ronaldo is the first Portuguese player to score a hat-trick in Serie A history and one of only two players to have netted a hat-trick in the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A (alongside Alexis Sanchez).

Ronaldo scores hat-tricks. He loves them. Across his career he has netted 56, a quite incredible feat in its own right. Earlier this year he struck three past Cagliari, and in doing so he became the first Portuguese player to bag himself a hat-trick in Serie A.

And there is another quite a niche accomplishment to add to this (but an accomplishment nonetheless). To score a hat-trick in three of Europe’s top five divisions is no mean feat, but one that should certainly be lauded. Ronaldo’s trifecta is made up of one each in the Premier League and Serie A are joined by 34 in La Liga. Only Alexis Sanchez had previously managed that, scoring one at Udinese, one with Barcelona and two while at Arsenal.

7. A Juve goal fiend

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo scored 31 Serie A goals in 2019/20, equalling the all-time Juventus record for the most in a single league season.

Juventus have boasted some formidable marksmen over the years: Alessandro Del Piero, Roberto Baggio, Michel Platini, even Ian Rush. It’s like a who’s who of former Ballon d’Or winners and contenders. But none of those players have netted as many goals as Ronaldo has managed in a single season.

Platini’s best was 20 in a one campaign, while Baggio and Del Piero notched 21. Heck even Rush could only muster seven. Ronaldo bagged 31,matching a quite incredible record that has been intact for 86 years, since Felice Borel scored 31 times in the 1933/34 season.

8. It had to be him

Feat: Cristiano Ronaldo scored Juventus’ 5000th Serie A goal, making the Old Lady the first club to reach the milestone. 

Ronaldo etched his name in the Juve annals by bagging Juventus’ 5000th Serie A goal last season. It just had to be him didn’t it? He scored the only goal in the Derby della Mole against Torino in December 2018 to bring up No. 5000 for the Old Lady.

Marco Di Vaio netted the club’s 4000th in 2003, while Massimo Briaschi brought up goal number 3000 in 1984.

9. Most consecutive away goals in the three-point era

Record: Cristiano Ronaldo scored in nine consecutive away games in Serie A, more than any other player in the three-point era. 

England introduced the three-points-per-win rule in 1981, but it would be 13 years later till Italy followed suit in 1994. Since then, no player has scored in more consecutive away games in Serie A than Ronaldo, who was on the scoresheet away from home between September 2018 and February 2019.

10. Most goals in a calendar year this century

Feat: Cristiano Ronaldo is the first player in Serie A this century to register 33 goals in a calendar year.

Ronaldo’s most recent goals in 2020 — a brace as Juve picked up a 0-4 win at Lazio — maintained his lead atop of this season’s Golden Boot standing, but from a historical perspective saw him become the first Serie A player this century, and fourth all-time, to register at least 33 goals in a calendar year. An incredible feat that was last accomplished 59 years ago by legendary Juve forward Omar Sivori (33 in 1961). Ahead of Ronaldo and Sivori are Gunnar Nordahl (36 in 1950) and Felice Borel (41 in 1933).

Other Juve milestones

Of course, Ronaldo hasn’t just been breaking Serie A records since relocating to the Allianz Stadium, he has also been producing the goods in Europe. Here’s a brief selection of other records broken by Ronaldo since putting on the Juve strip.

Feat: Juve have only once progressed past a round in the knockout stages of a UEFA competition after losing the first leg by two goals.

Two seasons ago Juve were beaten 2-0 by Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Champions League round-of-16. Given it was a Simeone side, it seemed almost impossible that Juve would break them down in the second leg, but then Ronaldo happened.

Simeone breathed a sigh of relief when Ronaldo traded Real for Juve, but the Portuguese legend returned for one final twist of the knife and netted a hat-trick in Turin to secure an epic 3-2 turnaround.

Record: Among the seven players with 50+ goals in the Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored as many goals in the knockout stages (67) as in the group phase (67).

It’s true, Ronaldo is anything but a flat-track bully, instead coming out on top when it really matters. With Juve set to face FC Porto in the round-of-16, new boss Andrea Pirlo could really do with some of Ronaldo’s knockout stage magic.