Albert Pujols and Christiano Ronaldo Join 600 Club

What a day Saturday was for Sports. The champions league final between Juventus and Real Madrid, The Stanley Cup Final Game 2, and 7 grand slams hit around the majors. One of those grand slams was hit by Albert Pujols marking it his 600th of his career. Making him just the ninth player to do so and second Dominican, the other Being Sammy Sosa (609). But the sports day started off with Christiano Rinaldo’s strike beating Gianluigi Buffon. Ronaldo then added his second goal of the day to solidify Real Madrid’s 4-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League Final. That goal just also happened to be Ronaldo’s 600th of his career, inclusive of international and club matches.

Really an incredible feat by the Portuguese Ronaldo who became just the sixth player to reach the feat. Ronaldo joins a historic company in Josef Bican, Romario, Pele, Ferenc Puskas, and Gerd Muller. Fellow rival and Argentian Lionel Messi still is 24 short of 600 but nonetheless eventually will join them. Out of Ronaldo’s 600, 529 of the strikes at club level scored at Sporting, Machester United, and Real Madrid. Also of the 529, 106 have been in the Champions League, making him the league’s all-time leading scorer. The other 71 have come in international play for Portugal.

Ronaldo has achieved nearly everything possible for a soccer player as he is a 3 UEFA Best Player in Europe, 4x FIFA Ballon D’Or, 4x Champions League Winner (3 Real Madrid, Man U), 3x English Champion, 2x English Cup Winner, 2x Spanish Cup winner, 3x FIFA Club World Cup Winner, 2x UEFA Supercup Winner, 2x English Cup Winner, and 2x Footballer of the Year. He also won the European Championship with Portugal, English FA Cup, Spanish Champion, Spanish Cup, and the Portuguese Super Cup. Oh yeah, he’s also been a top scorer on 14 different occasions for leagues and cups combined. The only real feat that still alludes the global superstar is a World Cup championship for Portugal. Ronaldo, 32, says “age is just a number” and that he feels great but still, next summer could be his last chance at a World Cup,

Later that night Albert Pujols decided to take history into his own hands. Smashing a grand slam with two down in the fourth inning off of Twins right-hander Ervin Santana. The slam gave the Angels a 7-1 lead a game in which they would go on to win by 7-2 and Pujols’ 600th career home run. What an accomplishment by one of this generations greatest power hitters. Pujols joins elite company in the 600 home run club with Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Wille Mays, Ken Griffey Jr, Jim Thome, and fellow countryman Sammy Sosa. Not too shabby for Big Al.

Pujols spent his first 11 years with the St. Louis Cardinals and then the past six with the Angels. Pujols has an extremely diverse resume as he is a 10x All-Star, 2x World Series Champion with the Cardinals, 3x NL MVP, 6x Silver Slugger, 2x Hank Aaron winner and 2x Gold Glove winner. He even won the  NL batting title in 2003, NL rookie of the year in 2001 and holds the most RBI’s by a foreign-born player with 1,850. He truly did it all, hit dingers, drove in runs, played a great first base and hit for average- a very rare trait in a home run hitter. Perhaps his most impressive as he is a .308 career hitter and only Babe Ruth on the 600 home run club hit higher (.343)

Although his resume speaks for itself it doesn’t tell the whole story. While still, incredible it’s hard not to think of what could be if he hadn’t had so many injuries. Pujols at the age of just 30 smashed his 400th home run and is the third-youngest to do so. At the time many believed he could eventually eclipse Barry Bonds as the all-time home run king. The other two who reached it faster Griffey and Rodriguez both also were slowed down by injuries further deterring their conquest to become king. At 37, The Machine is far from done, who know maybe he’ll hit 700.

Who’s 600 is more impressive? Hard to say both joining elite company of under ten players with their strikes Saturday. I am much more of a baseball fan over soccer but I still would give it to Ronaldo. Although Pujols was dominant for a long time he wasn’t the best player or two in the league for more than a few years. Ronaldo, on the other hand, has been either 1-a or 1-b to Lionel Messi for the past decade. He has also dominated on multiple teams, leagues, and stages and continues to play elite at 32. But Pujols’ rare combination of both power and average is something we almost never see. Both dominant players, both true greats, can’t go wrong either way. One thing is certain both CR7 and Big Al will be Hall of Famers in their respective sports.




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