The GOAT Done It Again!
After helping Portugal overcome Republic of Ireland 2-1 in World Cup qualifying on Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record for most goals scored in international football. The Manchester United striker now has 111 international goals, topping Ali Daei’s old record of 109 goals. Ronaldo was previously tied with Ali Daei of Iran for the most goals with 109. At Euro 2020, he tied the record.
Daei’s record has stood since his retirement in 2006, having surpassed Ferenc Puskas’ previous mark set in 2003.
Ronaldo, the all-time greatest striker in the Champions League and Real Madrid’s all-time leading marksman, led his country to their lone major tournament victory at Euro 2016.
At this year’s Euro 2020, Ronaldo won the Golden Boot for becoming the first player to appear in five European Championships.
If Portugal makes it to the World Cup in Qatar next year, he will tie the record of playing in five World Cups.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who joined United from Juventus this week, has hinted that he has no plans to retire from international football anytime soon.
On Saturday, Portugal will play a friendly against Qatar before heading to Azerbaijan on September 7.
Fernando Santos’ side leads Group A of European qualifying, three points ahead of Serbia, who have a game in hand, thanks to Ronaldo’s heroics in the Algarve.
After reaching a new milestone, the 36-year-old expressed his pride.
“I don’t know where to begin to express myself in words!” I’m ecstatic with a powerful experience! Let’s get this party started, Portugal! Let’s get started!
From all of the records I’ve broken in my career – and there have been a few – this one stands out for me, and it belongs on the shelf of accomplishments that I’m truly proud of.
First and first, because every time I represent my country, I feel a sense of pride in knowing that I am defending Portugal and demonstrating to the rest of the world what the Portuguese people are capable of. Second, witnessing my idols play for their countries in Euros and World Cups every other summer has always had a huge impact on me as I grew up. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, scoring 111 goals for Portugal means 111 moments like the ones we had today in the Algarve, moments of worldwide unity and delight for millions upon millions of Portuguese citizens all over the world. Every sacrifice is worthwhile for them.
Another reason I value this success as much as I do right now is that Ali Daei has set such high standards that I began to believe I would never catch up to him. Congratulations to the “Shariar” for holding the record for so long, and thank you for always treating me with such respect every time I scored and as I got closer and closer to his incredible number.
Thank you very much, Portugal. Thank you to all of my teammates and opponents who helped to make this journey so memorable. In the coming years, let’s keep meeting inside the pitch! I’m not going to stop counting just yet.