Cristiano Ronaldo to end 2023 as world’s top goal scorer

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to end the year as the world’s top goal scorer after scoring his 54th goal of 2023 in Al Nassr‘s 4-1 victory at Al Taawoun in the Saudi Pro League on Saturday.

The Portugal forward’s 54 goals in official competitions for club and country came in 59 matches to beat out Bayern Munich‘s Harry Kane and Paris Saint-Germain‘s Kylian Mbappé (52) as well as Manchester City star Erling Haaland (50). None of the leading contenders will play again in 2023.

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It is the fifth time Ronaldo will finish the year as the world’s top scorer, having also done so in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015 when at Real Madrid. His 54 goals is the most Ronaldo has scored in a calendar year since netting 55 in 2016, when he won one of his five Ballon d’Or awards.

The 38-year-old responded to the achievement with a post on Instagram, writing: “54 — I’ll say when it’s finished! Thanks, team.”

Ronaldo’s latest goal on Saturday came on the one-year anniversary of him signing for Saudi club Al Nassr after his controversial exit from Manchester United.

Al Nassr were leading 3-1 through goals from Marcelo Brozovic, Aymeric Laporte and Otavio on Saturday when Ronaldo headed in from six yards out in the second minute of stoppage time. It was his 20th goal in 18 league games so far this season.

With the win, Al Nassr stay in second place in the Saudi Pro League standings, with 46 points from 19 games, seven points behind leaders Al Hilal.