After scoring two goals against the Republic of Ireland, Cristiano Ronaldo broke records and said Portugal believed they would win.
In a surprising move, the forward returned to Manchester United earlier in this week and became the leading scorer for men’s international football. He has now overtaken Iranian Ali Daei’s record.
In the final minutes of the World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Algarve he nodded twice home, bringing him up to 111 goals for Portugal, two more than the previous record.
Ronaldo believed that Portugal would win all three points, even though the victory came late for an improving Republic of Ireland.
His words were: “I am so happy. Not only because I beat that record but also for all the wonderful moments we shared. It was hard, but it was worth the effort. The supporters and we believed right up until the final. “I’m glad that I was able to help.”
The 36-year old Ronaldo was frustrated by the result. However, Gavin Bazunu (19 years) saved Ronaldo’s penalty early.
Ronaldo said that the incident was part of playing and part of business. You can score sometimes, but you still have faith until the end. It’s so satisfying to win and score the game.
Later, he posted to Instagram that he had “records” that he’d broken in his career.
First of all because representing my country every day is an exceptional moment. It’s a time when I know that I am defending Portugal, and showing the world who Portugal people really are.
“Secondly because I was able to see my heroes playing for national flags in Euros and World Cups.
“But, last but not least, scoring 111 goals in Portugal is a sign of 111 happy moments for millions, if not millions, of Portuguese citizens around the world. They know that every sacrifice they make is worthwhile.
Ali Daei is a great example of this accomplishment. At one point I thought I would never be able to catch him.
“Congratulations, Shariar for holding this record so long. Thanks for showing such respect every time that I scored. I felt closer and closer to him.
“Thank you Portugal. Thank you to my teammates and all the opponents who made this trip so memorable. We must continue to meet inside the pitch for the next few years. …” I am not yet closing the loop.
Ronaldo: What did you think?
Phil Babb: Sky Sports,It’s strange because he was silent for almost 89 minutes. Ireland was able to frustrate him, and I thought Duffy or Egan were excellent when crossing in the ball. He was not able to make an impact until the goal.
But let’s not forget – the hour is coming. He produces again and literally drags his team to victory.
It’s one those arguments, but I think he is the greatest ever… He was skinny when he joined the Sporting team. To become the supreme athlete, and the greatest, has been an incredible journey.
Richard Dunne, Sky SportsIt’s amazing. He is unique among all other players in football. That ability to hang is what he has. You wonder how the players can defend when their marker is up as the ball crosses the field. It’s so difficult.
The header, direction, and all of it are fantastic. The key is how well he takes care of himself, and what strength he has to hold the ball.
It’s scary. It’s amazing to be able just to be at the right moment. Ronaldo is always there to help, so the game wasn’t over.
Portugal was in dire need of him at that time. It didn’t seem like they would do anything, and then he appeared out of nowhere and broke our hearts.”
John Egan, Republic of Ireland Defender told Sky SportsHe’s an outstanding player and one of the greatest ever. He was quite contained for the majority of the match, and we allowed him to have two more chances until the end. We were punished by world-class players sometimes.
Stephen Kenny, Republic of Ireland manager, told Sky SportsHe’s an icon. It’s impossible to take him away. Tonight, he even demonstrated that at the age of 36. It’s amazing that he managed to score two goals.”
Portugal manager Fernando Santos:His record is a proud one. No Portuguese man is happier to have him be the highest international goal scorer.
But that will happen some day. Cristiano would score in any of the remaining five, six or 10 games. He could easily break this record. He already had the record. We didn’t doubt that he could break it. What if he could only achieve one goal? It wouldn’t be today if it was.”
Ronaldo vs Daei – The stats
Ronaldo scored his 50 first international goals in just 114 caps. However, he’s now hit 61 in 66 and has a record of half-century in goal per game. To surpass the previous record, Daei needed 149 games.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino in a message to Ronaldo:This achievement is a reward for a remarkable career that has spanned almost 20 years representing your country at its highest level. It demonstrates your immense dedication and passion for the game.
You have been a national icon, a role model and an inspiration for young players around the globe. You deserve admiration and global praise for your skills and constant drive to improve. Parabens, Cristiano!”
Record broken by Ronaldo
More than half Ronaldo’s goals have been scored in Portugal’s qualifying campaigns for the World Cups or European Championships. In World Cup qualifying, it was 33 with the goals against Republic of Ireland.
Manchester United’s forward Ronaldo has 14 points in European Championship finals. He scored three in Portugal’s 2016 victory in France, and five more in the group stage this summer before Belgium eliminated the holders. Ronaldo and Patrik Schick, the Czech Republic’s frontman, were joint top scorers at Euro 2020.
Ronaldo scored four goals against Spain in the 2018 World Cup, and seven total during his tournament appearances. He scored just one goal in his three previous World Cups against Iran, North Korea and Ghana.
Ronaldo scored five goals in the two Nations League campaign and twice at 2017 Confederations Cup. His 19 remaining international goals came in friendly matches.
Ronaldo’s favorite opposition
Most Ronaldo goals have gone to Sweden and Lithuania, with seven after Ronaldo scored against Lithuania four times and in Vilnius three.
Ronaldo scored six goals against Luxembourg, Hungary, Andorra, and five against Latvia, Armenia, and Sweden. Portugal’s captain, Ronaldo, has scored against 44 international oppositions in total. France and Germany were added to the list at Euro 2020.
Manchester United has scored only one hat trick for Cristiano Ronaldo. It has been one so far. In 2008, it was against Newcastle at Old Trafford. Ronaldo made his return to the ground in the face of the opposition after a remarkable thirteen years and 57 career wins.
How much have things changed? This is Ronaldo’s intrigue upon his return.
Publiated at Wednesday, 01 Sep 2021 23.32:13 +0000