Cristiano Ronaldo will never give up hope of overhauling Lionel Messi as the best player of the current generation, and possibly of all time, but the Real Madrid superstar must know that equalling his old rival’s Ballon d’Or tally - never mind surpassing it - will be nigh-on impossible now.
Messi won a record-breaking fifth Ballon d’Or award on Monday night - putting him two clear of Ronaldo, who turns 31 next month.
The Portuguese forward has always made it abundantly clear that his burning ambition is to finish his career known as the greatest footballer ever - but it seems he now has a new primary objective.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Ronaldo wants to become the new Pele.
He aims to score another 500 career goals before he finally hangs up his boots, bringing his tally close to the 1000 mark.
Ronaldo: I want another 500 goals
“I hope I'll score another 500 goals but it's tough,” Ronaldo was quoted as telling his Real Madrid teammate Marcelo, by the Daily Mail, at the 2015 Ballon d’Or ceremony in Zurich.
“All the records are always an extra, the icing on the cake,” he added. “It's always good to be at the top of the records.”
A hint that Ronaldo will join a lesser league?
Ronaldo has scored 461 career club goals to date - and given that he had another nine years left in the sport, tops, it seems very unlikely that he’ll reach 1000.
The only way that could potentially happen is if Ronaldo joins a slightly inferior league either this year or next.
Perhaps he fancies his chances of scoring goals galore with Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 before cleaning up in Major League Soccer after that.
Either way, Ronaldo has made it crystal clear that retirement is the last thing on his mind at this moment in time.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo score another 500 goals before he retires? Let us know by leaving a comment below.