Croatia 2-3 Portugal: Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on former Real Madrid teammate's record

  • Kobe Tong

Cristiano Ronaldo is the definition of a born winner.

You can guarantee that the Juventus superstar will do everything in his power to win every single game he plays, preparing meticulously beforehand and giving the defence nightmares throughout. 

Besides, we are talking about somebody who, despite being 35 years old, is capable of leaping higher than most NBA players and has Usain Bolt openly admitting that he’s now slower than him.

Ronaldo’s hunger for victory

So, yes, it should come as no surprise that Ronaldo has one of the most extensive trophy cabinets in the sport, winning no fewer than four Champions League titles in five years at Real Madrid.

That’s not to mention an additional ‘Big Ears’ trophy from his time at Manchester United as well as consecutive Serie A crowns since moving to the Allianz Stadium.

Oh, and Ronaldo also happens to boast five Ballon d’Or trophies on an individual level, which is a tally that can only be surpassed by Barcelona‘s Lionel Messi.


Ronaldo’s international success

However, if you were to ask Ronaldo which trophy he held dearest, there’s a good chance he would reflect upon his international career and that historic night for Portugal at Euro 2016.

While the Iberian nation are by no means lacking in footballing quality, Ronaldo hasn’t had the clear path to international silverware he would have had if he was, say, Spanish or German.

So, it’s not only astonishing that Ronaldo helped inspire his nation to the status of European champions, but the individual success he’s enjoyed on the world stage is incredible too.


101 wins for Portugal

It’s been well-publicised that Ronaldo is on course to become the greatest international goalscorer of all time, moving to within eight strikes of history with his header against Andorra.

However, a lesser-known stat that Ronaldo has now added to his international arsenal came after Portugal’s dramatic 3-2 win against Croatia on Thursday.

The victory, which came courtesy of a Ruben Dias brace, marked Ronaldo’s 101st in a Portugal jersey, meaning he has the third-most victories of any player in international history.


Third in all-time rankings

Bleacher Report tweeted that the Real Madrid legend had surpassed Xavi to take his place on the podium and within touching distance of Iker Casillas in second and Sergio Ramos in top spot.

Xavi will have to settle for fourth place now, just a few notches above his former partner in crime Andres Iniesta, who rounds off the top five with 96 victories on his personal record.

Ramos, meanwhile, posted the world record that Ronaldo will now be chasing last summer when Spain cruised their way to a 4-1 victory over the Faroe Islands during Euro 2020 qualifying.

Ronaldo currently finds himself 29 victories short of the gold medal, which could prove to be a difficult task, especially when Ramos looks set to play on until Euro 2020 at the very least.

Either way, though, I think we can all agree that this is yet another statistic that suggests Ronaldo is one of, if not the, greatest international footballer of all time.

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