Cristiano Ronaldo has finally managed to beat Ali Daei’s longstanding international goalscoring record – and is already intent on making it even harder for the next player to catch him.
The Portuguese forward, 36, scored two late goals in his country’s 2-1 win over Republic of Ireland on Tuesday to write his name in the history books, and land a Guinness World Record.
He had already seen his penalty saved in the World Cup qualifier in the Algarve, but made amends right at the death with two towering headers.
Having been level on goals at international level with Daei before the match, the strikes took him out in front on an incredible total of 111 goals in his career.
Daei had held the record since overtaking Ferenc Puskas in 2003, and Ronaldo is now keen to ensure he stays top of the charts for some time to come.
Posting an image on Instagram with his certificate, Ronaldo wrote: “Thank you to the Guinness World Records. Always good to be recognised as a world record breaker. Let’s keep trying to set the numbers even higher!”
The certificate read: “The most goals scored in international football matches by an individual (male) was achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) between 2003 and 2021.
Of course, Ronaldo still has time to extend his lead further with more fixtures to come as he prepares to lead his country into next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
However, he will not be taking part in their next qualifier due to him picking up a suspension for removing his shirt in celebration after trumping Daei’s record.
Portugal play a friendly vs Qatar on Sunday before travelling to Azerbaijan for the qualifier, but boss Fernando Santos has allowed Ronaldo to return to the UK so he can prepare for his second Manchester United debut.
Ronaldo must now undergo a period of isolation after United’s application for an ‘elite sport exemption’ was rejected by the UK government.
Unfortunately for United fans, those not present at Old Trafford for the game will be unable to watch the match on television due to none of the broadcasters owning rights for the 3pm kick-off.
BBC Radio5Live have been handed a major opportunity as they have exclusive commentary rights for the fixture, while match ticket prices have spiralled in cost to more than £2500.
United have finally confirmed Ronaldo will be sporting the iconic No.7 shirt again after the club received special dispensation to switch the number to him from Edinson Cavani.
Normally, league rules state the same player must wear his designated shirt for the entire season, but Cavani agreed to pass the shirt on to Ronaldo and instead take up the No.21.
Ronaldo said: “I was not sure if it would be possible to have the number seven shirt again.
“So I would like to say a huge thank you to Edi for this incredible gesture.”