Cristiano Ronaldo has reacted to breaking Pele's all-time goalscoring record after netting a perfect hat-trick for Juventus on Sunday.
Earlier this year, Ronaldo was reported to have become the world's all-time leading goalscorer after overtaking the Brazil legend's official tally of 757 career goals, although that record was disputed by Pele's camp at the time.
Scroll through the gallery above to see a breakdown of Ronaldo's career goals tally
It was claimed that the former Sao Palo forward had scored ten more goals than officially recorded, which included a further nine strikes for Sao Paulo State and one for the Brazilian Military Team.
However, Ronaldo put all doubt to bed on Sunday when his first-half hat-trick for the Bianconeri fired him to 770 career goals, and the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was quick to pay tribute to the 80-year-old following his remarkable achievement.
"The last few weeks were filled with news and stats considering me the world’s top scorer in football history, overcoming Pele’s 757 official goals," Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.
"Although I'm thankful for that recognition, now it's time for me to explain why I didn't acknowledge that record until this moment.
"My everlasting and unconditional admiration for mister Edson Arantes do Nascimento, such as the respect that I have for mid-20th century football, led me to take into account his 767 scores, assuming his nine goals for Sao Paulo State Team, as well as his single goal for the Brazilian Military Team, as official goals.
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"The world has changed since then and football has changed as well, but this doesn't mean that we can just erase history according to our interests
"Today, as I reach the 770 official goals in my professional career, my first words go straight to Pele. There's no player in the world who hasn't been raised listening to stories about his games, his goals and his achievements, and I'm no exception.
"For that reason, I'm filled with joy and pride as I acknowledge the goal that puts me on top of the world's goalscoring list, overcoming Pele's record, something that I could never have dreamed of while growing up as a child from Madeira.
"Thanks to all of those who took part of this amazing journey with me. To my team-mates, to my opponents, to the fans of the beautiful game all over the world and, above all, to my family and close friends: trust me when I say that I couldn't have done it without you."
While Ronaldo is widely regarded as football's greatest-ever goalscorer, there remains a dispute from the Czech Football Association who recently claimed that Josef Bican scored 821 goals during his career.
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