Erik ten Hag and Frank Lampard led tributes for Cristiano Ronaldo after the Manchester United star became the first player in football history to score 700 goals at club level.
The 37-year-old reached the landmark when hitting United’s winner at Everton – 20 years and two days after opening his account for Sporting.
Ronaldo is also the leading goalscorer in international men’s football and the Champions League, and his phenomenal achievement drew praise from both managers at Goodison Park.
“That is really impressive,” said Ten Hag. “To score 700 goals is a huge performance. I’m really happy for him. I congratulate him on that performance and I’m also happy as it’s his first goal this season in the Premier League. He had to wait for it and I’m sure there will be more goals.”
Everton manager Lampard, who played against Ronaldo for Chelsea and England, added: “It is outstanding. He is one of the greatest players to have graced the game and in an era when we have had him and Messi. The comparisons between them doesn’t matter.
“They are both incredible players in football history. The numbers they have racked up are abnormal numbers that have become normal. When he was on 699, I wanted him to score in the Europa League the other night. But in the cold light of day you have to give him credit. It is amazing.”
The United manager believes Ronaldo’s confidence has suffered this season without a Premier League goal, but backed the veteran to improve after ending his drought. Ten Hag added: “Every player needs it, even when you are the best in the world. I have worked with many goalscorers and they need goals in every season to have that feeling, to have confirmation of their intuition. Once they have some goals they come in a flow and games go easier. That will happen with him as well.”