Cristiano Ronaldo hailed Pele after he surpassed the Brazilian great's goal-scoring haul in official matched by netting a hat-trick in Juventus' 3-1 Series A win over Cagliari on Sunday.

Since soccer's world governing body FIFA does not keep an official record of who on top of the all-time scoring list, it is a benchmark that is hotly disputed.

Several media outlets previously hailed Ronaldo for breaking the record when he reached 760 goals as he had supposedly surpassed the record set by Austria and Czechoslovakia striker Josef Bican.

However, the Czech FA subsequently said in January that Bican's total was actually 821 goals, following a review of his statistics during a career spanning from 1931 to 1955.

On Sunday, however, Ronaldo ignored Bican's revised total to claim he was now on top of the scoring pile after surpassing Pele tele of 767.

''My everlasting and unconditional admiration for mister Edson Arantes de Nascimento [Pele], such is the respect that I have for mid 20th century football, led him to take into account his 767 score, assuming his nine goals for Sao Paulo State Team, as well as single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals,'' Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

''Today as I reach the 770th official goal in my professional career, my first ways go straight to Pele. There's no player in the world who hasn't been raised listening to stories about his games, his goals and his achievements, and I'm no exception.

''And for that reason, I'm filled with joy and pride as I acknowledge the goal that puts me on top of the world's goalscoring list, overcoming Pele's record, something that I could never have dreamed of while growing up as a child from Madeira.''

Pele who helped Brazil to win the World Cup in 1958, 1962, and 1970, states on his own Instagram page that he heads the all-time scoring list with 1,283 goals.

The  80-year-old former Santos striker and his compatriot Romairo Scored in excess of 1,000 goals during their careers, but those statistics include strikes in amateur, unofficial and friendly matches.

Nevertheless Pele congratulated Ronaldo on Sunday. 'Life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having. I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone,'' Pele wrote on Instagram.

''Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today.'' [Reuters] 


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