Aberystwyth's Chris Venables is Europe's top scorer in 2014

Chris Venables
Chris Venables re-signed for Aberystwyth Town in January 2013 from Llanelli, three-and-a-half years after he made the move in the opposite direction

Aberystwyth midfielder Chris Venables scored more league goals in 2014 than any other player in Europe, including the Ballon d'Or world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo.

Venables, 29, struck 39 times, one more than Real Madrid's Ronaldo and four more than Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

He scored 24 goals in the 32-game Welsh Premier League season last term and has already netted 23 times this season.

The semi-professional also works as a sales manager at a car dealership.

"What Chris has done over the past 12 to 18 months has been phenomenal," said Marc Lloyd Williams, who is the Welsh Premier League's all-time leading goals corer, with 319.

"It's one achievement that he'll never forget in his lifetime . . . he's one of the all-time best in the league.

"[Ronaldo and Venables] are both deadly off set-pieces, free-kicks, anything in and around the penalty area.

"Scoring goals is something you can't take away from the player. I don't think it can be coached, you've either got it or you haven't."

Williams added that Shrewsbury-born Venables is good enough to play as a full-time professional.

Leading goalscorers in 2014 in Europe's top ten leagues (according to UEFA country coefficient)
CountryPlayerClubGoals
SpainCristiano RonaldoReal Madrid38
EnglandWilfried BonySwansea City (now Manchester City)20
GermanyAlexander MeierEintracht Frankfurt18
ItalyAntonio Di NataleUdinese21
PortugalJackson MartínezFC Porto20
FranceAlexandre LacazetteOlympique Lyonnais23
RussiaHulk/Seydou DoumbiaFC Zenit/CSKA Moscow16
UkraineLuiz AdrianoShakhtar Donetsk16
NetherlandsMemphis DepayPSV Eindhoven16
BelgiumAleksandar Mitrović Anderlecht17

"I'm surprised that none of these League One or League Two clubs have taken a punt on him. Clubs are crying out for goal scorers, they'll win you more games than not and get you promotion or win you trophies.

"Someone should take a gamble on him. He's not going to cost them much money . . . and the step up to full-time football wouldn't be a problem for him."

This weekend sees the final fixtures for Welsh Premier League clubs before the top six teams split into the Championship Conference, with the bottom six going into the Play-Off Conference.

Venables' Aberystwyth Town are currently third, behind leaders The New Saints and second-placed Bala Town, but are two points ahead of Airbus UK.

Carmarthen Town and Port Talbot occupy the final two places in the top six, though Newtown could catch them with a win against Gap Connah's Quay.

Aberystwyth host Prestatyn Town on Saturday, with the rest of the games to be played on Sunday.

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