Updated on September 3rd, 2021, 1:47 pm
- Cristiano Ronaldo breaks the record of former Bayern player Ali Daei.
- With it he is writing history once again in his very typical way.
One hundred and eleven. This number is now in the history books and to say it with Uli Hoeneß: “That’s not it yet!” Cristiano Ronaldo has set a new world record.
He has now scored 111 international goals, more than anyone else before him. Before the match against Ireland on Wednesday evening as part of the World Cup qualification, Ronaldo had to share the record with Ali Daei. Like Ronaldo, the Iranian had 109 goals, now Daei has actually lost his record from the noughties.
The big stage was no longer available to Ronaldo for his special evening, he had missed this chance at Portugal’s European Championship against Belgium. At that time, the public had set itself up for a new record and was almost looking forward to it. But then nothing happened, Portugal were eliminated 1-0, Ronaldo had to postpone his big show for a few weeks.
With the last action the explosion
Portugal’s home game against the second-rate Irish played on Wednesday evening in a supporting role and in order to spice it up a bit and to squeeze it into a befitting format, Ronaldo himself knitted the greatest possible tension. First he missed a penalty and missed the chance to crack the record early on in the game. Before taking the penalty, Ronaldo took on his opponent Dara O’Shea and wiped the Irishman’s face with his hand.
The VAR had to step in, but didn’t fall for O’Shea’s theatricality and left Ronaldo on the pitch. A few minutes after the missed shot, Portugal even fell behind, which moved the situation towards the only conceivable scenario: Ronaldo had – once again – to save his team. One minute before the end then the redemption, the 110th international goal, the equalization. But still without the big happy ending: the victory, thanks to a Ronaldo goal.
Until the sixth minute of stoppage time, CR7 had time for the explosion: flank from the right side, a structurally identical scene to the equalizer shortly before. Ronaldo rose the highest, headed the ball untenable in the goal. A downright iconic scene, the header, the redemption, the cheers afterwards: Take off your jersey, the Ronaldo shuffle. And then held the jersey with the number seven in the camera. A little like Messi. Whether staged as a statement or spontaneously, who knows?
180 international matches, 111 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo is listed as the best scorer of all time in the official statistics with immediate effect and until further notice. That’s only appropriate for this player of the century, and the eulogies of Ronaldo’s obsession, discipline, work ethic, and outstanding physical ability are long written.
And of course Ronaldo benefits from the flood of international matches that the associations have come up with over the past 15 years and from a team with very good teammates who, with him, are actually permanently in the top ten in the world and thus automatically in many games Opponent is superior.
And yet this preliminary record is so unimaginable. Ronaldo has now played 180 international matches for his country, which in itself is amazing. It started almost exactly 18 years ago. At that time, friendly matches were still called friendlies, Portugal hosted Kazakhstan and at the second half the rather unknown Ronaldo, then 18 years, six months and 15 days young, replaced the icon Luis Figo.
Also read: Therefore, one can only be amazed at the Ronaldo deal
Ronaldo reinvented himself all over again
The first goal followed at the home European championships against Greece, Portugal lost anyway and at the end of the tournament also the title that was believed to be safe – again against Greece. A first big disappointment, but also the constant drive for someone like Ronaldo, who never gives up, is never satisfied, and always wants more.
And who in his old days was able to reinvent himself again. It was a few years ago when Ronaldo changed his game. Less frills, less dribbling, less pulling in from the side and thus significantly less contact with opponents.
Ronaldo moved his workplace from the left attacking side to the center. This reduced his ball contacts, but ultimately increased his sphere of activity and, above all, brought him to where the path to the goal is shortest for a sniper. A small movement, a minimal sprint, is often enough for him to achieve a breathtakingly high level of air in the penalty area. The rest is basically just a matter of form.
Better than anyone else
Things haven’t been going so well at the club in recent years, and in retrospect the move should be seen as lost time. His return to Manchester is all the more exciting and now the record.
Ronaldo did not achieve this with one of his few club teams, but with “his” national team. He is now officially better than Maradona, better than Pele, better than Gerd Müller, better than Lionel Messi, measured in bare numbers. And it will take a very, very long time before someone else comes and scores more goals for his country.
Kylian Mbappe has very good conditions, maybe Erling Haaland. Although one is not so eaten up by ambition and the other – with all due respect – is on the hunt for goals for Norway. And who knows how long this will go on with Ronaldo and the goals?
The next game is already next week, when Portugal will face Azerbaijan, the last of their qualifying group. Better be prepared for one or two Ronaldo goals.
The line-up of the top eleven of the European Championship reflects their surprising course: world footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo or Robert Lewandowski are missing, and no player from the disappointing German team has convinced either. But there are supporting pillars of the new European champions Italy in the team.