New Delhi [India], March 15 (ANI): After Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed Pele's goal record, the Brazilian football legend said he admires the Juventus star a lot and regrets not being able to hug him on this occasion.
Ronaldo's hat-trick propelled Juventus to a 3-1 win over Cagliari in the Serie A. The 36-year-old now has 770 goals in all competitions and surpassed Pele's disputed record of 767, having exceeded his official number of 757 earlier this year, Goal.com reported.
"@cristiano, 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. Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today. But I leave this photo in your honor, with great affection, as the symbol of a friendship that has existed for many years," Pele wrote on Instagram.
Following the achievement, Ronaldo had taken to Instagram to reveal why he did not acknowledge the record when he crossed the 757 official goals.
"The last few weeks were filled with news and stats considering me the World's Top Scorer in football history, overcoming Pele's 757 official goals. Although I'm thankful for that recognition, now it's time for me to explain why I didn't acknowledge that record until this moment," Ronaldo had written.
"My everlasting and unconditional admiration for mister Edson Arantes do Nascimento, such as the respect that I have for mid-20th century football, led me to take into account his 767 score, assuming his 9 goals for Sao Paulo State Team, as well as his single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals. The World has changed since then and football as changed as well, but this doesn't mean that we can just erase history according to our interests," he had added.
Ronaldo then praised Pele saying there is no player in the world who hasn't been raised listening to stories about his games. Juventus' star player also admitted that he could never have dreamed of overcoming Pele's record while growing up as a child.
"Today, as I reach the 770 official goals in my professional career, my first words 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," Ronaldo had said.
"Thanks to all of those who took part of this amazing journey with me. To my teammates, to my opponents, to the fans of the beautiful game all over the World and, above all, to my family and close friends: trust me when I say that I couldn't have done it without you. Now I can't wait for the next games and challenges! The next records and trophees! Believe me, this story is still far from being over. The future is tomorrow and there's still a lot to win for Juventus and Portugal! Join me in this journey! Let's go!" he concluded. (ANI)