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A former amateur soccer star has now scored more Premier League goals than Cristiano Ronaldo ever did, and in less games

A former amateur soccer star has now scored more Premier League goals than Cristiano Ronaldo ever did, and in less games

Just over nine years ago, Jamie Vardy was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels in the seventh division of English soccer.

On Sunday afternoon, his two goals in a 5-0 win against Newcastle United for Leicester City saw him surpass Cristiano Ronaldo's scoring record in the Premier League.

Vardy's brace, the first a trademark finish from inside the box and the second a header, took his total in England's top division to 85 goals, one more than Ronaldo's 84.

More impressively however, is the fact that Vardy, who only made his first Premier League appearance at the age of 27, has done so in fewer games than the five times Ballon d'Or winner.

While it has taken the English hitman just 183 games to hit that lofty total, it took Ronaldo 196 games to get one less with Manchester United between 2003-2009.

Vardy's 85 goals also mean he has now managed as many as former Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres, and also one more than ex-Manchester United and Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.

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Vardy's rise from the lower echelons of the English football league to Premier League goal-getter has been as rapid as it has been remarkable.

The 32-year-old joined Leicester in 2012 from non-league side Fleetwood Town for just $1.38 million — a record at the time for a player outside of England's top four divisions.

While it was seen as a gamble, Vardy quickly proved his worth, managing 20 goals across his first two seasons to help Leicester earn promotion to the Premier League.

After a tough first campaign in the EPL, the Englishman's fairytale took flight in 2015-2016, when he, under the tutelage of Italian boss Claudio Ranieri, hit 24 goals to fire Leicester to an unlikely Premier League title.

That season, he also won the Premier League's Player of the Season award, and was called up to the England national team for the first time.

While Leicester have since failed to challenge for the title again, Vardy's impressive form has continued, managing 13, 20, and 18 goals in the top flight in each of the last three seasons.

This term, he's scored five in just seven games, helping Brendan Rodger's new-look side to third in the table.

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