Cristiano Ronaldo ends 2023 with 54 goals as Al Nassr ease past Al Taawoun - in pictures

Portuguese forward completes year as most prolific player in world football

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Cristiano Ronaldo capped his year as the leading goalscorer in world football with another goal as Al Nassr continued their fine form with a 4-1 victory at Al Taawoun on Saturday.

Already assured of his place at the top of the standings, Ronaldo made sure by adding his 54th goal of 2023 with a header in injury time at King Abdullah Stadium. The 38-year-old Portuguese forward finishes ahead of Bayern Munich and England striker Harry Kane and Paris Saint-Germain and France star Kylian Mbappe (both 52 goals).

Erling Haaland may have run Ronaldo close but a foot injury in recent weeks left the Manchester City and Norway striker on 50 goals.

Ronaldo's goal on Saturday was his 20th in just 18 Saudi Pro League games this season and takes his overall tally since moving to the club to 38 in 44 appearances across all competitions.

It also completed a fine fightback from Nassr, who fell behind to Aschraf El Mahdioui's 13th-minute goal when the Dutch midfielder tapped in after Nassr goalkeeper Nawaf Al Aqidi had saved his initial penalty.

Nassr got themselves level in the 26th minute as Marcelo Brozovic finished off a lovely team move, the Croatian midfielder running onto the end of Anderson Talisca's through-ball.

The Riyadh giants took the lead nine minutes later when Spanish defender Aymeric Laporte rose to head home Brozovic's corner.

With the lead established, Nassr continued to dominate and extended their advantage five minutes after the restart as Otavio capitalised on a defensive mistake to score from inside the area.

Ronaldo had several chances to extend Nassr's lead and add to his record but he shot wide after rounding the goalkeeper and then hit the post with another effort. His goal eventually came in the first minute of injury time when he rose highest to nod home Seko Fofana's cross.

Following the match, Ronaldo referred to his year-long goal tally and his late goal against Al Taawoun, writing on Instagram: "54 – I’ll say when it’s finished!"

The victory cements Nassr in second place in the Saudi Pro League table and provides a valuable three points if they are to have any chance of closing down Al Hilal; the runaway leaders hold a seven-point advantage.

Taawoun remain in fourth following a superb season so far, although back-to-back defeats have halted their momentum.

Updated: December 31, 2023, 6:39 AM