Cristiano Ronaldo might be currently suspended at club level, but that hasn’t stopped him from breaking more and more goal-scoring records in international colours.
Portugal took on minnows Faroe Islands last night – and Ronaldo didn’t take long to declare his country’s superiority. The Real Madrid man scored after three minutes before going on to grab a hat-trick in a 5-1 win for the reigning European champions.
Ronaldo’s fifth international hat-trick propelled him to 78 international goals – surpassing a long-standing record held by Pele and becoming the fifth-highest international goal-scorer of all-time in the process.
Whilst that achievement in itself is outstanding, he also broke even more records in last night’s game.
The Real Madrid forward is now the all-time leading goal-scorer in UEFA World Cup qualifying campaigns – overtaking Andriy Shevchenko of Ukraine with his 29 goals. He also now has 32 World Cup goals including qualifiers and tournaments – surpassing the outright record he previously shared with Germany’s Miroslav Klose.
Somehow, this is still not the end of the records broken by the former Manchester United man last night.
Ronaldo has now scored the most goals in a single men’s UEFA qualifying campaign and he has done so in staggering fashion, scoring 14 goals in just seven games.
The Portuguese forward has three games left to catch the all-time qualifying record of 19 goals held by Karim Bagheri of Iran – and given current form few would bet against him doing so.
Now second on the list of Europe’s all-time leading international scorers behind Ferenc Puskas – seven more goals will see Ronaldo take the outright lead.
When it comes to breaking records, few possess such ability, and sending so many records tumbling in just 90 minutes of international football is testament to just how unique Cristiano Ronaldo is when it comes to scoring goals.
With plenty of years ahead yet, these won’t be the last records that Ronaldo breaks for club or country before hanging up his boots.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.
Check out the latest episode of The Mixer, Pundit Arena’s Irish football podcast where we previewed the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifiers and spoke with Longford Town Neale Fenn.