Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo earned his 109th goal for Portugal in Wednesday’s Euro 2020 game against France to equal ex-Iranian striker Ali Daei’s all-time international record.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo, who became the leading scorer in European Championship history, converted his second penalty of the game in Budapest to match the record in his 178th international appearance. Ronaldo is the 1st player to appear at five editions of the tournament and has scored five times in three Group F games. The Juventus striker has now earned 14 European Championship goals, five more than French great Michel Platini, who netted nine times when he led France to glory in 1984.
According to records, Ronaldo scored his first international goal in a 2-1 loss to Greece in the opening game of Euro 2004 in Portugal, where the hosts later lost to Greece 1-0 in the final.
Daei, aka the ‘Shariar’ (King in Persian), earned a remarkable 109 goals in 149 appearances for Iran between 1993 and 2006, an award many thought would never be achieved.
Daei has said on many occasions that he would be “glad” if Ronaldo broke his record, as he believes the Juventus striker ranks among the best three players in history, alongside Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
“Congrats to @cristiano who is now one goal away from breaking the men’s international goal scoring record,” Daei revealed on Instagram.
“I am glad that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo – great champion of football and caring humanist who inspires and impacts lives around the globe.”