Cristiano Ronaldo set the all-time men’s international scoring record by netting twice in Portugal’s victorious World Cup qualifying clash against the Republic of Ireland. He tallied two goals late, including one deep in stoppage time, to lead his nation to a dramatic comeback win.
Ronaldo officially set the mark when he scored his first with one minute left in stoppage time to tie the score at 1-1 at the Estadio Algarve.
The 36-year-old had only scored once in his country’s opening three Group A qualifying matches, but he doubled his account with a second finish in the 96th minute, becoming the most prolific frontman to ever grace men’s international football in the process.
The history-making goal
The Portugal star squandered a chance to set the new mark earlier in the game via penalty kick. The newly-signed Manchester United star had a chance to seal the record from the spot in the first half, but he was denied by 19-year-old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu .
His big moment couldn’t be held off forever, though, as Ronaldo scored on a Goncalo Guedes assist in the 89th minute, meeting the cross with a perfectly placed header.
And then, in the sixth minute of stoppage time, Ronaldo added a winner, sealing a 2-1 win for Portugal in the process.
Ronaldo’s career record
Ronaldo’s staggering exploits in the final third for Portugal have helped cement his standing as one of the greatest players of his generation.
He left Euro 2021 even with Ali Daei on 109 international goals and he has now surpassed the Iran legend. He wrapped up the tournament as the outright top scorer in Euros history on 14, and he is the only player to ever play and score in five consecutive appearances at the tournament.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has also won two trophies with his country, including Euro 2016, but his achievements at club level are arguably even more impressive.
Ronaldo has scored 674 goals in 894 games across spells at Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, and has yet to show any signs of slowing down despite advancing towards his late thirties.
The Portuguese striker has lifted 30 club trophies, including seven league titles and five Champions League crowns, with a Suppercoppa Italiana and Coppa Italia double capping off his last campaign in Italy with the Bianconeri.
He shocked the football world by sealing a surprise return to United on deadline day, bringing to an end his three-year stay at Juve, and will be expected to continue to deliver the goods in the final third at Old Trafford over the course of his two-year contract.