Cristiano Ronaldo reached another scoring landmark on the occasion of his 600th league game.
When he netted Juventus’ third goal in a 3-0 victory against Spezia on Tuesday, Ronaldo became the first player to score at least 20 goals over each of the last 12 consecutive seasons across more than one of Europe’s top five leagues.
Ronaldo’s rival Lionel Messi has scored 19 league goals so far this season and is on the brink of passing the 20-goal mark for the 13th consecutive season with Barcelona.
Alvaro Morata and Federico Chiesa scored Juventus’ first two goals before Ronaldo, who had hit the post in the first half, finished off a counterattack in the game’s final minutes.
The result leaves Juventus third in Italy’s Serie A, seven points behind league leader Inter Milan.
“We didn’t make a brilliant start, which is normal when you’re playing every three days,” said Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo as it took his side an hour to open the scoring.
“We tried to manage the game and also created some chances in the first half. In the second half, thanks to some fresh faces, we were able to be more threatening and change the contest, with the wingers and midfielders making good runs into the box.”
Ronaldo has now scored 20 goals in 21 league games this season and remains the top scorer in Serie A, two ahead of Inter’s Romelu Lukaku.
Last month, Ronaldo was thought to have become the greatest goalscorer of all time, although debate remains about whether he has surpassed the disputed tally of the late Austro-Czech striker Josef Bican.
The first player ever to win titles in the Premier League, La Liga, and Serie A, the 36-year-old is also edging closer to the international scoring record having netted his 102nd goal for Portugal last year.