Cristiano Ronaldo 1st Player to Lead Serie A, Premier League, La Liga in Goals

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 23, 2021

BOLOGNA, ITALY - MAY 23: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus FC looks on prior to the Serie A match between Bologna FC and Juventus at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara on May 23, 2021 in Bologna, Italy. (Photo by Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images)
Danilo Di Giovanni/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo may not have played in Juventus' 4-1 victory over Bologna on Sunday, but the 36-year-old made history nonetheless.

Ronaldo scored 29 goals in 33 Serie A appearances to lead the league and became the first player ever to finish as the top scorer in Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League, per ESPN FC's Andrew Cesare Richardson.

The results of Sunday's fixtures could bring a little more clarity in terms of whether Ronaldo will spend a fourth season in Italy.

Thanks to their win and Napoli's 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona, Juve qualified for the 2021-22 Champions League. It was difficult to envision Ronaldo sticking around to play in the Europa League, and paying his roughly €30 million salary would've been difficult without the revenue the Champions League provides.

That Ronaldo didn't even come off the bench Sunday is bound to raise some questions nonetheless.

The Portuguese's gaudy scoring totals—he hasn't had fewer than 25 goals since 2008-09—somewhat obscure his value at this point in his career. He remains lethal in the 18-yard box, but the limitations in his game were laid bare during Juventus' round-of-16 exit to Porto in the Champions League.

Leading Serie A in goals is yet another achievement for a player who's one of the best in the history of the sport. But Ronaldo is also an example of how even the greats can't fight off the aging curve forever.

While Juventus averted a potential disaster by finishing fourth in the league, it still might have a dilemma on its hands regarding its highest-paid star.