Ronaldo breaks international scoring record as Man United’s new signing hits 111 goals for Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo has broken Ali Daei’s 15-year international scoring record after netting his 110th and then 111th goal for Portugal in a thrilling comeback win.
The 36-year-old equalled Daei’s mark at the Euros this summer and bagged the record-breaking strike against The Republic of Ireland in Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier.
Buoyed by his return to Manchester United, the striker had an early chance to break the record from the penalty spot but was made to wait after his effort was saved by Gavin Bazunu.
Portugal then fell behind to a John Egan goal and needed their talisman to step up and save them.
He did just that, leaping in trademark style to power a headed equaliser into the net and reach the personal milestone.
And there was another twist, minutes after had Ronaldo broken the record, he extended it with a dramatic late winner in the 96th minute, another salmon-like leap and exactly the same result.
The Portuguese icon took his shirt off in wild celebration on one of the most memorable nights of a career littered with them.
United fans will be salivating at the prospect of Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford in top form.
The 36-year-old has joined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on a £385,000-a-week deal having left Juventus on deadline day.
He will be looking to light up the Premier League and continue to defy the march of time on his body.
Ronaldo, who took home the golden boot from the Euros with six goals is now 34 strikes ahead of the next-highest active men’s player (behind Daei) Ali Mabkhout, who has 76 goals in 92 for the UAE.
Daei scored 109 times for Iran between 1993 and 2006. The prolific forward has now seen his record surpassed and Ronaldo is likely to forge wider gap before he calls time on his career.
Ronaldo’s first international goal was a consolation in the Euro 2004 curtain-raiser against Greece, before he scored the opener in the semi-final against the Netherlands.
A rematch against Greece followed in the final and while that also ended in heartbreak, the Madeira-born prodigy’s time on the biggest stages was only just beginning. -AFP