Cristiano Ronaldo finally scored his 100th international goal for Portugal after nine months of waiting and then added one more to signal his quest to break the 108 international goals world record held by Ali Daei of Iran.
The mercurial CR7 struck twice in Portugal’s 2-0 Nations League victory over Sweden on Tuesday, September 8, with milestone goal, the first of his two strikes, coming just before half-time, following a foul on Joao Moutinho by Gustav Svenson, just outside the Sweden penalty box, which also saw the swede pick up his second bookable offence and a red card.
Ronaldo stepped up elegantly and curved one of his unstoppable trade mark freekicks into the top, postage stamp, left corner to beat a diving Robin Olsen. It was a stunning free-kick, which also marked the 57th of his stellar career and a fitting strike to seal this phenomenal achievement of arguably the greatest playe in the world and aiming to become the Greatest goal scorer of all time.
The superb forward, 35, then added another with an equally sublime strike in the second half, collecting the ball just a few metres outside the swedish penalty box area and unleashing a curling shot, again beating goalkeeper Olsen on that same left hand side.
The Juventus superstar had been stuck on 99 since November but finally broke the duck in trademark spectacular fashion.
Ronaldo is now second in the all-time list of leading international scorers behind Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 in his career. Daei, who played for Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin at club level, featured for Iran from 1993 to his retirement in 2007.
“I managed to beat this milestone of 100 goals and now [I’ll go] for the record. It’s step-by-step. I am not obsessed because I believe the records come in a natural way,” Ronaldo said after the match.
With the two goals, Cristiano Ronaldo who played 81 minutes, became the first European to score 100 international goals in men’s football and is now within eight goals of the world record.
The goals also increased his lead for most among active players, putting him 29 ahead of India’s Sunil Chhetri and 31 ahead of Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo’s former club Manchester United were quick to congratulate their former star, saying ‘Congratulations to Cristiano on a century of international goals for Portugal’.
Portugal’s next match is an International friendly on Wednesday, 7th October, against Spain, while their next competitive game is the UEFA Nations League tie against France on Sunday 11th October, 2020.
Ronaldo made his Portugal debut back in 2003 against Kazakhstan, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 victory.
He scored his first goal for Portugal in a 2-1 defeat against eventual champions Greece in the group stage of Euro 2004.
Ronaldo won his first international trophy with Portugal when they defeated France 1-0 in the final of Euro 2016, and also helped them to lift the inaugural UEFA Nations League title in 2019.
Cristiano Ronaldo was named Greatest (Best) Portuguese Player of All Time in 2015, ahead of the legendary great Eusebio da silva Ferreira.