Cristiano Ronaldo is a gift that keeps on giving to the world of football and he proved it again in his outing yesterday for the Portuguese national team against the Republic of Ireland. It is one of those performances that won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
The 36-year-old has dominated the headlines in the media over the past days after agreeing on a sensational return to where it all started blooming for him – Manchester United.
Meanwhile, it’s no more news to see Cristiano Ronaldo doing what he knows how to do best but on some rare occasions, he makes it even more sensational.
Considering his age, only a handful of people would have thought he’ll be in the spotlight again on Wednesday night when Portugal faced the Republic of Ireland for their FIFA World Cup qualifiers in preparation for Qatar 2022.
Having missed a penalty kick awarded to Portugal in the first 15 minutes of the game, some people would have thought it’d demoralize him but he’s not your usual player who bows down to a blip or misfortune.
Instead, he scored two late headers, first in the 86th minute and surprisingly, the winner in the 96th minute of the game to give Portugal a late 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland. This took his international goals tally to a remarkable 111 goals and we all know that he’s score more for Portugal before he calls it quits at the international level.
Cristiano Ronaldo has bagged the male world record holder for most goals scored on international duty after his late header against the Republic of Ireland.
Ronaldo’s two goals for Portugal’s World Cup qualifying game on Wednesday night indicates that he now has 111 goals in 180 competitive football appearances for his country, eclipsing Ali Daei’s record for Iran with 109 goals for his country between 1993 and 2006.
Ronaldo would have broken the 109 goal record when he had the chance earlier in the game after Portugal were given a penalty but Ireland’s 19-year-old shot-stopper Gavin Bazunu, a Manchester City loanee plying his trade for League One side Portsmouth saved Ronaldo’s spot-kick.
Bazunu denied Cristiano a second time late into the second half of the game after Ronaldo’s free-kick made it past the wall. Bazunu parried it wide convincingly.
Before last night’s match against the Republic of Ireland, the 36-year-old previously matched Daei’s record with two converted penalties in his nation’s final Euro 2020 group match against France in June, but they were sent packing by Belgium in the round of sixteen.
The overall world record for international goals scored by an athlete is held by a Canadian female footballer, Christine Sinclair. Sinclair, who recorded her first cap in the year 2000, has 187 goals in 304 appearances for her country.
Ronaldo from all intent and purposes is an enigma of the game whose imprint cannot be underappreciated. He’s been able to prove that he’s undoubtedly the best goal scorer and arguably the greatest footballer on planet earth.
He’s the greatest footballer in Portugal, the greatest footballer in Real Madrid history, the highest goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League, the highest goal scorer for Portugal, and a host of other records he has shattered coupled with scores of personal laurels.
Having a page to eulogize the Portuguese legend shouldn’t be out of place because he’s earned every appraisal.
This week, on Tuesday, to be precise, Manchester United confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo’s second coming to the club after a decade and two at Real Madrid and Juventus respectively. He will make his second debut under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on his return from international duty.
Ronaldo should be tagged goal machine as his indelible imprint is unmatched.
With over 780 senior official goals for both club and country, it doesn’t look like Ronaldo is backing down any time soon. He insisted when interviewed that “he has plenty more goals left in him after breaking the international scoring record”.
Ronaldo would go back to Manchester United and hit the ground running for his second spell in the Red shirt after the international break and lots of united fans are in awe to see their legend back, and more so after the performance on Wednesday.