On Wednesday, Cristiano Ronaldo made more history, breaking the world record for men’s international football goals during Portugal’s 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in their 2022 World Cup qualifier.
Ronaldo shattered the record in dramatic fashion, scoring two late headers to net his 110th and 111th goals for Portugal. He is now two goals clear of Iranian star Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for his national team from 1993 to 2006. Ali Daei and Ronaldo held the record simultaneously after the Portuguese star scored a brace against France in Euro 2020.
Ronaldo makes history with two records in game against the Republic of Ireland
Ronaldo and Ali Daei are head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to goal-scoring exploits on the international stage. They are the only two male players to score at least 90 international goals, making their triple-digit outputs mind-boggling.
This wasn’t the only record that the Manchester United forward established on Wednesday. Ronaldo also equaled Sergio Ramos’ European record for men’s international caps with his 180th appearance for Portugal in the game against the Republic of Ireland. He is just 15 caps shy of the world record currently held by Soh Chin Ann, who had 195 caps for Malaysia between 1969 and 1984.
Ronaldo was ecstatic after the win, saying, “I’m so happy, not only because I beat the record, but for the special moment that we had.” He paid tribute to his team, saying they believed until the end and scored two goals as a result.
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Is Ronaldo the greatest soccer player of all time?
Ronaldo’s latest landmark further bolsters the argument that the Portuguese star is the greatest soccer player of all time. Ronaldo is also the top scorer in Europe’s premier club football tournament, the Champions League, which he has won a whopping five times.
He is also the leading scorer in the history of the European Championship with 14 goals and the World Cup and Euros combined with 21 goals. More importantly for his loyal fans, Ronaldo’s 111 international goals in 180 games are well above the scoring mark of Lionel Messi with Argentina. Messi has just scored 76 goals in 151 outings for Argentina, good for eighth-best in the world.
Before Ronaldo’s late brace against the Republic of Ireland, there was some controversy as he was caught slapping Dara O’Shea. The Irish star kicked the ball away before Ronaldo’s penalty attempt, leading the latter to retaliate.
Christiano Ronaldo slaps Ireland 🇮🇪 player for no reason.. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/u2vCD9SLHz
— Thandaza Nolokwe (@ThandazaNolokw4) September 1, 2021
However, he was fortunate to escape a red card, but the mind games seemed to have worked as Ronaldo missed the ensuing penalty. Ronaldo made amends, scoring in the 88th and 96th minutes to hand Portugal all three points.
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