The Portuguese sensation Cristiano Ronaldo scored for the 54th time in Al-Nassr’s 4-1 victory over Al-Taawoun to end 2023 as the leading goalscorer in the world for club and country, surpassing players like Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, and Erling Haaland.
While Haaland, the prolific goal scorer for Manchester City, finished the year with 50 goals overall, Mbappe and Kane have both scored 52 goals for their club and nation.
With 20 goals in 19 games this season, the 38-year-old Ronaldo is now dominating the Saudi Pro League Golden Boot competition. He has contributed nine assists as well. Al-Nassr is now second in the league, seven points behind leader Al-Hilal, thanks to Ronaldo’s outstanding play.
In 2023, the Portuguese international scored over 50 goals; in contrast, his adversary Lionel Messi scored just 28 goals in 44 games. Eleven of the twenty-eight goals came from Inter Miami, an MLS team he joined in the summer.
After switching from Manchester United to the Saudi Arabian league in January, the forward has had success there, helping his team keep up a title challenge against Al-Hilal.
He now has 54 goals for the year—54 goals in international football—after his goal against Al-Taawoun. There are still a few teams to play before the year is out.
Before Boxing Day, Ronaldo was behind both Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe. This is because Kane is now playing in the Bundesliga, while Mbappe is in Ligue 1, and both teams are on winter vacation.
Kane and Mbappe will both finish the season with 52 goals, while Ronaldo will finish the year ahead with 54 thanks to his most recent goal.
On Boxing Day, Al-Nassr defeated Al-Ittihad, the Saudi Pro League winners from the previous year, 5-2, including two penalty kick goals from Ronaldo.
He moved free of his competitors as the world’s top scorer for 2023 after those goals put him one goal ahead of them with one game remaining.
But the five-time Ballon d’Or winner wasn’t slowing down this weekend; on Saturday, he scored two more goals to celebrate winning yet another award.
Erling Haaaland, who has missed Manchester City’s previous six games due to injury, will end up with 50 goals.