Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday became Europe’s highest ever goal scorer in international football in a Group B match between Portugal and Morocco at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. Ronaldo achieved the feat in only the fourth minute of the match when he put Portugal in lead with a stunning header. Incidentally, that was the only goal scored in the match as Portugal edged closer to booking their Round of 16 berth in the FIFA World Cup 2018 by winning the match 1-0. Ronaldo’s header was his 85th for his country, breaking the previous record of 84 goal of Hungary’s Puskas between 1945 and 1956. However, Ronaldo still trails Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals in 149 appearances, in the list of all-time leading goal scorers.
Commenting on Portugal’s win and his goal, Ronaldo said, “I’m happy I scored the goal but the most important thing is that we won the game…We have to think match by match in order to progress.”
Meanwhile, the 33-year-old also became the first player since Portugal’s Jose Torres to score with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup campaign. Torres had achieved that feat in the 1966 World Cup.
Portugal star’s 85th goal includes five hat-tricks, 14 braces, 38 goals in separate matches and one match where he scored four goals in a single match.
In his previous three World Cup –2006, 2010 and 2014– campaigns, Ronaldo had scored three goals from 70 shots. However, in this edition, he has already scored four goals from just five shots.
Europe’s all-time top international goal scorers
Cristiano Ronaldo – 85 goals
Ferenc Puskas – 84 goals
Sandor Kocsis – 75 goals
Miroslav Klose – 71 goals