decision might deny CR7 the coveted top scorer throne. Technically, Ronaldo leads this year’s top-scorer rankings with 53 goals, leaving behind Mbappe (52), Kane (52), and Haaland (50). Yet, due to soccer’s apex authority, the player might slip down.
FIFA might steal the 2023 top-scorer crown from Cristiano Ronaldo
The 53 goals that Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the 2023 calendar year are due to his participation in the Saudi Pro League, AFC Champions League, Kings Cup of Champions, Arab Club Champions Cup, and a few international matches that he played for his beloved side Portugal. However, as per RMC Sport, FIFA doesn’t recognize the UAFA’s Arab Club Champions Cup as a major competition. Ronaldo had scored six goals in this competition, including a brace against Al Hilal in the final to clinch the first silverware with the Riyadh side. Hence, this means that FIFA won’t consider those six goals, bringing CR7’s tally to just 47.
It will be a tremendous blow for the 38-year-old, as clinching this feat would have done wonders. Yet, it’s unlikely that FIFA will mold its policies. Notably, Ronaldo still has one game left to play on December 30th against Al Taawoun. Meanwhile, Mbappe and Kane’s domestic sides will play in January 2024. Although Haaland’s Manchester City plays tomorrow, the Norwegian superstar will miss the game due to his injury. It means Ronaldo still has a chance to improve this tally, yet he would need to score five goals to even match Mbappe and Kane’s record of 52. Remarkably, this isn’t the first time FIFA’s rule has denied a player’s top scorer crown.
Not the first time FIFA thwarted the top-scorer crowning of a Saudi Pro League player
Abderrazak Hamdallah, a Moroccan striker who previously played for Al-Nassr and is now with Al-Ittihad, set a new record in 2019 by scoring 57 goals in a calendar year. Unfortunately, they overlooked this sensational display as attentions were drawn worldwide to then-Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, who scored 54 goals.
It certainly raises questions about whether FIFA should consider the stats from the competition that they don’t recognize. Notably, many statistics-based reference websites like Transfermarkt also don’t take non-FIFA-recognised competitions like the Arab Club Champions Cup into consideration. Either way, it serves as a tremendous blow for Ronaldo to not become the top scorer of the 2023 season. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>