Cristiano Ronaldo Is Making A Mockery Of Old Age, Scores 12 Minutes Into First Game Since Turning 36
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The cliché suggests Cristiano Ronaldo is aging like a fine wine. But we might have to rethink that aphorism to say fine wines age like Cristiano Ronaldo. No matter how old he gets, he just seems to keep getting better. Before turning 30 he scored 0.64 goals per game; since turning 30 he’s scoring better than 0.92 goals per game.
As if to defy the normal pattern of aging, Ronaldo has made a habit of scoring on or near his birthday since joining Juventus. In 2019, he showed great determination to score this goal a few days before his 34th birthday. In 2020, he looked like a spry young teenager scoring a few days after his 35th birthday. It was no surprise on Saturday when the Portuguese striker found the back of the net a day after he turned 36, helping Juventus beat Roma 2-0.
Ronaldo made a rare heartfelt social media post to Instagram on Friday. Most of his posts are either selling you something or showing off his ridiculous physique (or both). Instagram’s sexiest model celebrated his birthday with a Portugal-themed cake surrounded by his family.
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“As I celebrate my 36th birthday and my 20th year as a professional footballer, I’m sorry that I can’t promise you 20 more years of this,” Ronaldo wrote. “But what I can promise you, is that as long as I keep going, you’ll never receive less than 100% from me!”
Ronaldo certainly gave 100 percent on Saturday against Roma in Turin.
Cristiano Ronaldo Birthday Goal
Ronaldo opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Controlling a pass from Álvaro Morata with the bottom of his right foot, he immediately swung his left foot through the ball to place a shot just inside the far corner. The quickly taken shot caught Pau López off guard and was indicative of how Ronaldo is still finding new ways to score, even at 36.
Cristiano Ronaldo with his LEFT pic.twitter.com/blRvRbdv31— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 6, 2021
Ronaldo now has 300 goals for club and country since turning 30, a remarkable total for anyone’s entire career let alone someone supposedly over the hill in football terms.
Less than 10 minutes later, Ronaldo hit the underside of the crossbar and was convinced the ball had gone in the goal. The referee pointed to his watch, which did not tell him the ball crossed the goal line, and Ronaldo tried to grab his arm to see for himself, but to no avail. The 36-year-old is still doing whatever it takes to bag more goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo didn't believe the referee when he said his shot didn't go over the line pic.twitter.com/1KWDeJK3yF— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) February 6, 2021
Ronaldo would have scored Juve’s second if not for Ibañez accidentally pushing the ball into his own net to deny Ronaldo an easy tap-in in the 69th minute.
While it’s easy to criticize Ronaldo for being so focused on his personal goal tally and personal appearance, there’s no denying the results. Ronaldo may not have the burst of pace he did as a teenager or the high-scoring team of his Real Madrid days, but he still finds a way to score more often than not.
Contrast this with Neymar, who was also born on Feb. 5 but seven years later. The Brazilian throws lavish parties for his birthday, and it’s clear one player is far more serious about his longevity than the other. Ronaldo doesn’t drink alcohol, eats insanely healthily and has one of the toughest workout regimens in football. Neymar is prodigiously talented, but he isn’t singularly focused on his soccer career, for better or worse.
Also contrast Ronaldo with Trevor Noah, host of The Daily Show who is an avid soccer fan himself, while comparing Ronaldo to Tom Brady, who will go for yet another Super Bowl title on Sunday at the age of 43.
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The 2-0 win saw the Old Lady surge past Roma up to third place in Serie A. Inter still leads the pack with 47 points from 21 games while AC Milan is second with 46 from 20, but watch out for the reigning champions, who now trail Inter by just five points.