BUDAPEST (AFP) – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 109th goal for Portugal in Wednesday (June 23) evening’s Euro 2020 game against France to equal former Iran striker Ali Daei’s all-time international record.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo, the leading scorer in European Championship history, converted his second penalty of the game in Budapest to match the record in his 178th international appearance.
Ronaldo is the first player to appear at five editions of the tournament and has scored five times in three Group F games. The Juventus striker has now scored 14 European Championship goals, five more than French great Michel Platini, who netted nine times when he led France to glory in 1984.
Ronaldo netted his first international goal in a 2-1 loss to Greece in the opening game of Euro 2004 in Portugal, where the hosts later lost to the Greeks 1-0 in the final.
Daei, nicknamed the ‘Shariar’ (King in Persian), scored a remarkable 109 goals in 149 appearances for Iran between 1993 and 2006, an achievement many thought would never be matched.
Daei has said on several occasions that he would be “delighted” if Ronaldo broke his record, as he believes the Juventus striker ranks among the best three players in history, alongside Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
“Congratulations to @cristiano who is now one goal away from breaking the men’s international goal scoring record,” Daei posted on Instagram.
“I am honoured that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo – great champion of football and caring humanist who inspires and impacts lives throughout the world.”
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