The Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has reached another milestone in his career as he scores his 100th goal in the first half of their Nations League game against Sweden, hitting the landmark for Portugal and becoming the second man to achieve this feat in international football. He is now behind Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 in his career, who played for Iran from 1993 to his retirement in 2007.
The milestone goal came just before half-time following a foul just outside the Sweden penalty box, scoring the game’s first goal. The 35-year-old didn’t have to wait for long to reach his 101st goals as the forward netted a fine strike from outside the box in the 72nd minute, giving Portugal a 2-0 win. At the age of 19, Ronaldo scored his first international goal at Euro 2004.
Meanwhile, his 99th international strike came in a Euro 2020 qualifier match in November 2019 against Luxembourg. Daei’smen’s international record of 109 goals is the next target for Ronaldo, who missed Portugal’s 4-1 win over Croatia due to injury. Portugal continue to look strong as they look to retain the Nations League title and prepare for next year’s Euro 2020, where they are also the reigning champions.
Ronaldo’s hat-trick against Lithuania in November 2019 took his tally against them to seven, a figure which he equalled against Sweden when scoring his 100th and 101st international goals; five goals have come against each of Andorra, Armenia, Latvia and Luxembourg, with four apiece versus Estonia, Faroe Islands, Hungary and the Netherlands. He has never struck against France, Germany, Italy or England.
“I managed to beat this milestone of 100 goals and now [I’ll go] for the record. It’s step-by-step. I am not obsessed because I believe the records come in a natural way,” Ronaldo said after the match. The goals also increased his lead for most among active players, putting him 29 ahead of India’s Sunil Chhetri and 31 ahead of Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo have already passed the likes of Eusebio and Pauleta to become Portugal’s all-time top goalscorer and has now more than doubled previous record-holder Pauleta, who netted 47 times for the Selecao. The Juventus star has scored 49 of his 101 career goals with Portugal after turning 30. He made his Portugal debut back in 2003 against Kazakhstan, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 win.
He’s delivered seven goals on the World Cup stage and another nine at the Euros in his career. On an individual level, Ronaldo has established himself as one of the game’s all-time greats in a club career that has seen him represent Sporting CP, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus. In addition to numerous trophies with his club sides, Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or on five occasions.