Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo had a momentous evening last night as his club defeated Spezia 3-0 in their Italian Serie A encounter. The match marked Ronaldo’s 600th appearance across Europe’s top domestic leagues. Before coming to Italy, he had previous played in the top flight leagues in Portugal, England and Spain.
The Portuguese star also scored his 20th goal for Juventus in the Serie A this season. Why is that significant? Last night’s goal may not appear to be very special for the goal-scoring machine, but statistics show that he is now the first player to score at least 20 goals in any of Europe’s top 5 leagues in the past 12 seasons.
The feat is a clear sign of both his consistency and longevity. There has been no drop-off in the performance of the Juventus forward in over a decade. He has consistently been a top scorer year in and year out, regardless if he was wearing a Juventus, Real Madrid or Manchester United shirt.
The victory last night was much needed for Juventus, who are now playing catch-up against AC Milan and leaders Inter. They now have 49 points, just three behind second-placed AC Milan. While Milan is now within their sights, Inter is still a long way ahead with 56 points. They still have a lot to work for if they wish to defend their Serie A title. This year is particularly important, as they would not want to break what is now a 9-year streak.
It was a comfortable victory in the end for Juventus, but they did not appear so dominant form the beginning. The first half ended in a stalemate but they found their footing in the second half, when Alvaro Morata opened the scoring. Federico Chiesa tapped another one in to double the lead before Ronaldo took advantage of a decisive counter-attack to score his record breaking goal in the closing minute of regulation time.
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