Cristiano Ronaldo played his 1200th professional game and celebrated it with an assist and a goal as his Saudi Arabian League side Al Nassr won 4-1 against Al Riyadh.
“Cristiano Ronaldo has now played in 1,200 professional matches,” the Saudi League posted on the X platform, as the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player moved closer to Peter Shilton who leads the list of male footballers with most official appearances.
Former England goalkeeper Shilton is believed to be the record holder for the most competitive men’s professional games, though the total is disputed. Some statistics websites say the tally is 1,390 games but Shilton himself, on his X feed, gives it as 1,387.
Ronaldo, 38, opened the scoring shortly after the half-hour mark when he tapped in a cross from former Liverpool striker Sadio Mane, who had had a goal disallowed in the first minute of the game.
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Portugal national team captain Ronaldo improved his status as the league’s top scorer with 16 goals from 16 matches this season and helped his team to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat to leaders Al-Hilal.
“Three more points!” Ronaldo posted on social media. “Thankful to all my team mates who helped me reach my 1,200th match. What a ride but we’re not done yet!”
— تغطية لمباريات النصر V (@xx76668329) December 8, 2023
Three minutes into stoppage time in the first half, Ronaldo assisted his countryman Otavio who scored a header.
Al-Nassr’s Talisca netted twice in the second half, with a consolation goal from Al-Riyadh’s Andre Gray coming in between.
Al Nassr are second in the Saudi Pro League standings with 37 points, seven adrift of Al Hilal, while Al Riyadh are 14th with 16 points.