Strike against Sweden brought tally to 100 international goals

Thursday, September 10th, 2020 12:00 |
Cristiano Ronaldo.

Stockholm, Wednesday

Cristiano Ronaldo became only the second male footballer to score 100 goals for his country as he netted a sublime free-kick for Portugal against Sweden on Tuesday night.

He is the first European to reach the incredible landmark, and is closing in on the all-time record of 109 set by Iran legend Ali Daei after taking his tally to 101 goals moments later.

It is just the latest in a long line of landmarks passed by the 35-year-old, who scored the 700th goal of his extraordinary career last year.

The most established nation he has had success against is Sweden, who have conceded seven times to him.

After that come Holland, who Ronaldo has scored past four times.

He has never scored against England, though it was his decisive penalty in the 2006 shootout that sent the Golden Generation packing in Gelsenkirchen. 

Brazil, Germany and France are also among those who’ve managed to keep Ronaldo out. 

As time has passed Ronaldo has become increasingly more prolific in front of goal for his country.

Last year was his deadliest in front of goal - providing him with 14. He’s reached the landmark in double quick time having started 2019 on 85 goals for his country.

He was in red hot form last year for Portugal, scoring 11 times in just six games, only failing to score in the Nations League final against Holland last June. 

The refinement of his game to more of a penalty box player than all-round spearhead has undoubtedly accelerated his goal return in recent years. 

Unsurprisingly it’s the right boot of Ronaldo that has been the most prolific in the last 16 years, scoring over half of his goals - 54 to be precise.

His infamous heading ability has helped him plunder 25 goals, three more than he has scored with his left. 

The vast majority of his goals have come from inside the box, 80 of them, with 21 from outside the box.

Set-pieces have come in handy. He’s added 10 from a direct free-kick and 11 from the penalty spot. 

The final half-hour of games is where Ronaldo tends to come to the fore. Nearly half of his goals have come after the 60th minute - 50 to be exact.

With defences tiring, Ronaldo’s physical endurance comes to the fore - he has notched 28 goals in the final quarter of the 90 minutes.

Qualifiers for European Championships and World Cups have seen Ronaldo plunder 61 of his goals, unsurprisingly given the relative strength of opposition that Portugal face at this stage.

He managed to score twice in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and scored three times in the inaugural Nations League.

A further 16 goals have come at major tournaments. He has scored seven times at World Cups, including the incredible hat-trick he notched against Spain in Russia last year.

In the Euros he has bagged nine times, with his most important goal being the opener in the semi-final victory over Wales in 2016 that took Portugal into the final.-AFP

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