Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted that he’s not done scoring after breaking the all-time men’s international goals record.
Ronaldo scored two late headers to give Portugal a 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in their latest World Cup qualifying fixture on Tuesday night.
The 36-year-old took his tally of goals to 111 in 180 games for his country, moving two clear of Iran legend Ali Daei in the all-time international scoring charts.
What has been said?
Ronaldo took to social media after the game to outline just how much the record means to him and pay tribute to Daei, who he admits he doubted he would catch.
“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,” the veteran striker wrote on Instagram.
“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 on me as I was growing up, watching my idols playing for their flags every other summer in Euros and in World Cups.
“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.
“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.
“Thank you Portugal. Thanks to all my team-mates 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.”
Ronaldo will have the chance to increase his haul of international goals even further when Portugal take on 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar in a friendly and travel to Azerbaijan for their next Group A qualifying game over the next seven days.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner will then report to Old Trafford for club duty, having completed a sensational £20 million ($28m) return to United from Juventus on deadline day.