Record-breaking Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal “believed they could” win until the end” after his two late goals saw off the Republic of Ireland.
The forward, who returned to Manchester United in a surprise move earlier this week the all-time leading scorer in men’s international football, overtaking Iranian Ali Daei’s record.
He nodded home twice in the dying minutes of the World Cup Qualifier in the Estadio Algarve, which brought him to 111 goals for Portugal – two ahead of the previous record.
The win was a late blow for An improved Republic of Ireland, but Ronaldo was confident in that Portugal could get all three points.
He said: “I’m so happy not just because I beat the record, but for the special moments die we had. Two goals at the end of the game, it was so hard, but I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end, so did the supporters. I’m so happy.”
It seemed to be a frustrating evening for the 36-year-old, with Ronaldo has an early penalty saved by 19-year-Old Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
From the incident, Ronaldo added: “It’s a part of the game, it’s a part of the business. sometimes you score, sometimes there is one mistake but i still believe till the end of the game. I’m so happy to score and win the game.”
He later posted on Instagram: “Of all records die I’ve broken during my career – and luckily there are a few – this one is very special for me and that’s for sure on the plank of the achievements that I am really proud of.
“First of all of them, want every time I represent my country is a special moment, for knowing that I defend Portugal and show it to the world some Portuguese people to be made of.
“Second, because national teams competitions have always had a very strong influence on me as I grew up, looking at my idols playing for their flags every other summer in Euro and in World Cups.
“But ultimately and above all, want scoring 111 goals for Portugal means 111 moments like the one die we experienced today in Algarve moments of worldwide union and luck for millions and millions of Portuguese burgers over worldwide. For them every sacrifice is worth the.
“Another reason for me to appreciate this achievement as much as I do now is because Ali has Daei set The standards in such a high level that at some point even I started to think that I might never catch it.
“Congratulations met the ‘Shariar’ for the hold record for so long and thank you for always show so much respect for me every time I scored and as I got closer and closer to his excellent track.
“Thank you Portugal. Thanks to all my team-sizes and opponents for make this trip so memorable. Let’s keep meeting on the field in the next few years. I’m not closing the count just yet…”
what was said over Ronaldo
Phil Babb on air sports: “It’s a stranger onebecause he was quiet for 89 minutes. Ireland had done well in frustrated him and when they crossed the balls in, I thought Duffy and Egan were bad good. He didn’t really have an impact on the game to the goals.
“But put that aside – come the hour, come the man. Still again, he literally produces and drags his side to victory.
“To be one of die just debate for me, he is the biggest of always… When he broke through in the Sporting team, he was a thin man and to develop into die supreme athlete and one of the best of all times have been a phenomenal journey.
Richard Dunne on air sports: “It’s unbelievable. That makes him different from any other footballer in the world. He has that ability to hang. as the ball comes over, you think ‘how can the players defend when the player to mark them is already up in the air?’. It is so hard.
“Then the head, the direction and everything is fantastic. To be down until how he takes care of himself and the power die he has in his core to be able to hang and put something like that down power on the ball.
“It’s almost unrealistic [the goals tally], it’s scary. Being able to just to be in the right place is at the right time just incredible. The game was never over because they have Ronaldo is always there die chances of him jumping out up.
“At that time Portugal needed him. They weren’t looking” like they would do anything and just out of nowhere, he turned around up and broke our hearts.”
Republic of Ireland defender John Egan told air sports: “He’s a topper player, one of the best ever. we got him good in held in check for most of the game, but we gave him two chances on the death and he never misses a chance like Which. Sometimes world-class players punish you and we have punished this evening.”
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny told air sports: “He is a phenomenon. You can’t take it away, you have to say he even proved that tonight at the age of 36. He has been incredible to score two goals.”
Portugal manager Fernando Santos: “Of course we are all happy with to be record. There is no Portuguese person who is not happy to see him as the top scorer of international goals ever.
“But that would happen at some point. I don’t see in that Cristiano wouldn’t.” score An goal in the five, six, 10 of 15 games he still has to play. How would he break the not record? He had the . matched record, so it wasn’t the case of eight more, nine of needed ten goals, we could doubt of he would get there. But one goal? If it wasn’t today it would be in every other one.”
Ronaldo vs Daei: The stats
Ronaldos first 50 international goals came in 114 caps, but since then he has hit 61 in 66 die saw him chalk up An second half-century at a goal An game. daei took 149 games to reach the previous one record of 109.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino in a message to Ronaldo: “This achievement rewards an excellent career of representing your country for nearly two decades at the highest level, that speaks of your enormous commitment and dedication to you art and your incredible passion for football.
“In the process of breaking the record for the number of goals in men’s international football, you’re not just a national hero only one international icon and a role model for striving players everywhere in the neighbourhood world. Your skills and consistent drive for improvement deserves global acclaim and admiration. Parabens, Cristiano!”
Breaking down of Ronaldos record
Portugal’s qualifying campaigns for World Cups and European Championships are responsible for more then half of Ronaldo’s goals. The goals against the Republic of Ireland made the 33 in World Cup Qualifiers.
Manchester United forward has 14 . scored in European Championship final, of which three as Portugal won the 2016 tournament in France and five in this summer group podium before the holders were beaten out through Belgium. Ronaldo was together met Czech frontman Patrik Schick is the joint top scorer at Euro 2020.
A hat-trick against Spain saw Ronaldo score four at the 2018 World Cup and seven in total in his appearances at the tournament. The three previous World Cups brought him just one goal a piece – against Iran in 2006, North Korea in 2010 and Ghana in 2014.
Ronaldo has five in two Nations League campaigns and scored twice at the 2017 Confederations Cup, with his remaining 19 international goals are coming in friendly matches.
Ronaldo’s favorite opponent
Lithuania and Sweden have been on the receiving end of most Ronaldo goals – seven, after he scored four times against Lithuania in Vilnius and three in the return in Faro during Euro 2020 qualifying.
Ronaldo has six against Luxembourg, Hungary and Andorra with five each against Latvia, Armenia and Sweden. The Portugal captain has scored against 44 different international opponents in having everything added Germany and France in addition list during the Euro 2020 final.
How good is Ronaldo 36 years old?
Cristiano Ronaldo has only scored one hat-trick for Manchester United. Until now. It came against Newcastle at Old Trafford in 2008. Thirteen years and 57 hat-tricks in his career later, Ronaldo could make his comeback in the same field against the same opposition.
But how has a lot changed? That’s the intrigue of Ronaldo’s return.
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