Cristiano Ronaldo holds an incredible number of records but one which doesn’t look like being topped any time soon is the number of headed goals he has scored this century
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the most headed goals of any footballer this century… and he’s head and shoulders above the rest.
The Portuguese superstar has openly admitted his desire to break as many records possible on his way to going down as the greatest footballer in history – and he’s doing a remarkable job of going about it.
At 36 years of age, the achievements keep on racking up for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner and one such bragging right which doesn’t look as though it will be topped any time soon is the number of headed goals he’s notched this century.
According to an infographic produced by PopFoot, Ronaldo has scored a whopping 110 goals with his head since the year 2000 – an incredible 32 more than the next best goal-getter.
The standings show Luuk De Jong, currently of Barcelona, in second spot with 78 efforts using his head while Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski completes the top three with one less than the Dutchman.
Spanish striker Fernando Llorente currently occupies fourth spot according to the graphic, while another former United striker, Radamel Falcao, ranks fifth on 71.
Current Old Trafford favourite Edinson Cavani is also in the top 20, with his total of 57 placing him 12th on the list, one ahead of Peter Crouch, who currently holds the record for the most headed goals in Premier League history (40).
Ronaldo’s extraordinary total of 110 this century may even be doing him a disservice, with many claiming the Portuguese forward has amassed over 140 for club and country combined within his illustrious career.
Although he has scored so many remarkable goals with his head over the years, perhaps Ronaldo’s most iconic was his effort against Sampdoria while playing for Juventus back in 2019.
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The Portuguese sensation leapt a staggering 71cm to reach a height of 8.39ft (2.56m) – higher than the 8ft crossbar – before nodding past opposition goalkeeper Emil Audero.
“Ronaldo did something that you see in the NBA,” Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri declared in the aftermath of his side’s 2-1 defeat to Juve. “He was up in the air for an hour and a half.”
Among his other most famous headers are his one for United in their 2008 Champions League final triumph over Chelsea and his soaring effort for Real Madrid against the Red Devils in the same competition’s Round of 16 back in 2013.
“What a header, you can’t stop that,” the great Sir Alex Ferguson acknowledged after his prodigal son came back to punish him. “The leap, the spring, the way he held himself in the air. What a header.
“I blamed Patrice Evra for his goal at first for not challenging – then I saw the replay and I felt a bit stupid. On the replay, Ronaldo’s knee is about as high as Evra’s head.
“It was phenomenal! I’ve seen it before, and I don’t think any other player in the world can do that – certainly not Lionel Messi.”
When addressing his incredible career numbers, Ronaldo once famously stated: “The records come naturally, I don’t look for them, the records look for me.”