Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele.

Pele issues huge challenge to Cristiano Ronaldo

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Football News

There is no question that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest players of the modern era and many would argue that he is in the conversation for the greatest of all-time.

The Portuguese superstar has scored 608 times during his illustrious career and has led Real Madrid to three Champions League triumphs in the past four years.

Other players considered in that bracket feature the likes of long-term rival Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and, of course, Pele.

When Ronaldo fired in a hat-trick against the Faroe Islands last week, he surpassed the 77 goals Pele managed for Brazil during his career despite taking 53 games more to reach that landmark.

The Brazilian is often regarded as the greatest of all-time by many and losing his international goal record to Ronaldo must have stung, but it sounded quite the contrary when he spoke to Goal.

"I saw the goal, It was really special," Pele told Goal, speaking of Ronaldo's first goal against the Faroes. "It was a really nice play."

The Santos legend did not seem surprised that Ronaldo had reached such a mark and insinuated that football has changed since his glory days.

"Of course, these are different times," Pele said. "But the beautiful thing about football is the goals. And I take this opportunity to send a big greeting to Cristiano Ronaldo for that victory."

Portuguese football player Cristiano Ron

However, in reference to his total career goals record, the three-time World Cup winner added: "Now he has to score more than 1,283 goals!"

Ronaldo is under half way towards that mark and at 32-years-old, chances are he's never going to make it now.

However, he has won far more prestigious honours at club level than Pele.

FIFA World Player Of The Year Gala

The legendary Pele never played in Europe. Ronaldo, on the other hand, has won the Champions League four times on top of league titles in England and Spain in addition to domestic cups.

He also won Euro 2016 last year, but Pele can trump that achievement with three World Cup successes. Wow.

Even if Ronaldo cannot rise to the challenge, is he the greatest ever?

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