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Ronaldo 1,000: Juventus star makes landmark appearance

The Portugal legend hit a historic milestone, becoming one of a rarefied group of players to reach four figures in senior appearances

Cristiano Ronaldo has brought up a major career landmark after he made his 1,000th appearance for club and country, starting for Juventus against SPAL in Serie A on Saturday.

The Portugal superstar returned to Maurizio Sarri’s starting XI after he was rested for the Bianconeri’s 2-0 victory over Brescia last weekend.

He celebrated his historic milestone with the opening goal at Stadio Paolo Mazza, finding the net in his 11th consecutive Serie A game.

The 35-year-old joins a rarefied band of players in bringing up the four-figure mark for his senior career, in what is his 73rd outing for Juve, halfway through his second campaign in Turin.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner made the majority of his appearances for Real Madrid in La Liga, where he enjoyed near-unparalleled success with Los Blancos over a 438-game, nine-season stint at Santiago Bernabeu.

Ronaldo began his career at Sporting CP in his home country, claiming the Supertaca Candido de Oliveira, but it was with his move to Manchester United in 2003 that he became a household name.

At Old Trafford, he emerged as one of the game’s greatest talents, helping Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to three Premier League titles and their second Champions League triumph in 2008 across 292 appearances.

His exploits during that season earned him his first Ballon d’Or, though he was unable to help them to consecutive European crowns in what would be his final season in England the following year.

His subsequent transfer to Madrid heralded the start of a golden era for the player, with his then-world-record price tag more than justified in the Spanish capital.

During just less than a decade, he became the club’s highest-ever scorer, helping them to 15 major honours during his time with the club, including three consecutive Champions League triumphs under Zinedine Zidane during his final years in Spain.

His success has continued since his move to Italy, having helped Juve to the Serie A title in his maiden campaign.

His presence in La Liga, alongside Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi, helped establish their world-renowned rivalry as the two pre-eminent players of their generation.

At international level, Ronaldo’s 164 appearances for Portugal has seen him net 99 goals, captaining his country to victory in the 2016 European Championships.

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