Ronaldo levels up with Zlatan in battle of evergreen strikers


Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Cagliari - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - November 21, 2020 Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

(Reuters) - Cristiano Ronaldo moved level on eight Serie A goals for the season with AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Saturday as he and the Swede continue to defy their advancing years and show the youngsters how it is done.

With a combined age of almost 75, you could forgive both Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic for at least showing signs of weariness, but the goals show no signs of drying up as the pair drive their teams to the top two spots in the standings.

Coming into Juve's clash with Cagliari on Saturday, Ronaldo had just returned from three games with Portugal to make his fourth league start of the season.

In his last match for Juventus before the international break, Ronaldo had to be substituted with an ankle injury, and that was after he had to self-isolate due to COVID-19.

Even with those disruptions, though, the 35-year-old Ronaldo cannot be stopped, as Cagliari found out.

With Juventus struggling to get going in Turin and wasting several chances, Ronaldo netted a trademark opener, firing into the bottom corner after skipping inside twice.

Not finished, the Portuguese added a brilliant second four minutes later, showing great athleticism with the ball seemingly heading behind him to flick home a fine finish.

"We have to keep our young man like this," Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said of Ronaldo.

"He gave me great availability in training, in games, for anything. His goals and goals. His talents are not natural, we are lucky that he plays at Juventus."

Now it is over to Ibrahimovic, with Milan playing Napoli on Sunday. The tall Swede has scored a goal in every Serie A game he has started this season and Ronaldo may be playing catch up again come next weekend.

(Reporting by Peter Hall, editing by Ed Osmond)

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