Few things in sport, just as in life, are a sure thing.
But one of them is Cristiano Ronaldo scoring goals. Lots and lots of goals.
The Juventus and Portugal legend has now scored an incredible 699 career goals at club and international level. On Monday he will look to reach the landmark 700-goal mark when he captains his country against the Ukraine in a Euro 2020 qualifying clash at Kiyv’s Olimpskiy’s National Sports Complex.
It would take a brave person to bet against him.
What’s more, the Portuguese scoring machine, with 94 goals for his country, has another major goalscoring record in his sights now.
Ronaldo has now scored 94 international goals, second in the all-time men’s list only to Iranian superstar Al Daei, who scored 109 goals for his country in a remarkable career of his own.
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star drew closer to Daei when he scored in a 3-0 Euro 2020 qualifier win over Luxembourg last week in Lisbon. There seems little doubt that, injuries permitting, Ronaldo will overtake the former Iran captain in the coming years, as his appetite for goals and form show no signs of abating.
At 34, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner remains in supreme physical shape and the second half of his career has seen him slowly reinvent himself as an out and out goalscorer having destroyed defences from the wings in his younger years.
Qualification for Euro 2020 is now a mere formality for defending champions Portugal, and beyond next summer’s tournament, Ronaldo can look forward to a new cycle of World Cup qualifiers.
Then, crowning off a peerless career, he will likely retire from international football after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
We suspect that by then Daei’s 15-goal lead over Ronaldo will have been well and truly obliterated.