Milestone man Cristiano Ronaldo set yet another record in football after his brace against Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers made him the highest goal scorer in men’s football history with 111 goals. Till Tuesday, the record belonged to former Iran international Ali Daei, who had scored 109 goals in his international career.
Ronaldo capped an eventful few days which saw him rejoin Manchester United from Juventus with a record breaking and match winning brace in Faro on Wednesday.
“I can’t even start to express myself in words! I’m thrilled with an overwhelming sensation! Let’s go, Portugal! Let’s go,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.
“From all the records that I have broken during my career – and fortunately there have been a few – this one is very special for me and it’s certainly on the shelf of the achievements that make me truly proud,” he added.
At the beginning of the match, Ronaldo was tied with Ali Daei on the goal scoring chart and the Portuguese maverick got a chance on the 15th minute of the match to make the record his own but his spot kick was saved by the Irish goalkeeper.
But Ronaldo equalised in the 89th minute with a header, before outjumping the Irish defence again in the sixth minute of added time
“First of all, because every time I represent my country is a special moment, for knowing that I’m defending Portugal and showing to the world what Portuguese people are made of. Secondly, because National Teams competitions have always had a very strong impact in me as I was growing up, watching my idols playing for their flags every other Summer in Euros and in World Cups. But finally and above all, because scoring 111 goals for Portugal means 111 moments like the ones we experienced today in Algarve, moments of worldwide union and happiness for millions and millions of Portuguese citizens all around the Globe. For them, every sacrifice is worth it,” he continued.
Ronaldo had equalled Ali Daei’s record at the Euro 2020 a few month’s back, and the GOAT did not forget to mention the Iranian in his note.
“Another reason for me to appreciate this achievement as much as I do right now, is because Ali Daei has set the standards in such a high level, that at some point even I started thinking that I might never catch him.”
“Congratulations to the “Shariar” for holding the record for so long and thanks for always showing so much respect for me every time I scored and as I became closer and closer to his outstanding number.”
He ended his emotional note thanking his Portuguese teammates and his opponents for making his journey ‘unforgettable’.
Thank you Portugal. Thanks to all my teammates and opponents for making this journey so unforgettable. Let’s keep meeting inside the pitch in the years to come! I’m not closing the count just yet…”
Portugal sit top of Group A with 10 points from four matches, although Serbia are only three points behind with a game in hand.
The group winners qualify automatically for the finals in Qatar, with the runners-up heading into the play-offs.
(With AFP Inputs)