Zinedine Zidane recently admitted he is “jealous” of Cristiano Ronaldo’s extraordinary goalscoring record.
He has no reason to be. The Real Madrid manager scored 125 goals in 681 career club appearances, which is an impressive return for a player primarily tasked with creating opportunities.
Ronaldo scored his 367th league goal in Madrid’s victory over Valencia on Saturday, surpassing the record set by Jimmy Greaves.
The Portuguese star requires three more goals to set the official record, however, because three of his goals came when he played for Sporting Lisbon at a time when the Primeira Liga was not deemed one of Europe’s top five leagues based on coefficient.
Ronaldo now has 590 goals in his entire career, for club and country. Zidane said his statistics are “amazing”.
"As a coach, he is the best player I have had," Zidane said of the Portugal international, per Goal.
"I wasn't able to play with him, unfortunately – but I did play against him. His statistics are amazing.
"I played with the Brazilian Ronaldo, who was also an extraordinary player who scored a lot of goals. I'm jealous of them because I didn't have those numbers.
“I got a lot of assists but I just passed the ball and didn't have their goalscoring ability, so I never had the same feeling – that thrill of the ball hitting the net – as them.
"They are decisive players."
Ronaldo played against Zidane in 2006
Having Ronaldo as part of his squad makes Zidane’s job much easier. But it’s easy to forget that they once played against each other.
Their first meeting came at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when Portugal faced France in the semi-final.
Zidane came out on top, scoring a first half penalty to secure a 1-0 win, and it would serve as the prelude to the most infamous game in the Frenchman’s career.
Check out the pair’s highlights from the encounter in Munich.
Video: When Ronaldo met Zidane for the first time
Little did Zidane and Ronaldo know then that, 11 years on from that match, they would go on to win a Champions League trophy together.
And there could be more European glory to come. Madrid host rivals Atletico Madrid in this evening’s Champions League semi-final first leg as they look to become the first club to retain the trophy.
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