Of all Cristiano Ronaldo’s extraordinary achievements, equalling Ali Daei’s international goalscoring record is right up there among the most impressive.
It would have sounded incomprehensible that Ronaldo would go on to score well over 100 goals for Portugal during the early stages of his career.
Yes, he was talented as a youngster - incredibly talented, in fact - but he was also inconsistent and often seemed more interested in embarrassing defenders than scoring goals.
The 36-year-old transformed himself from flashy winger to arguably the greatest goalscorer of all time through sheer willpower and a huge amount of hard work, dedication to his profession and personal sacrifice.
Following his brace for Portugal against France at Euro 2020 on Wednesday night, Ronaldo has now scored a phenomenal 109 international goals.
Ali Daei sends message to Cristiano Ronaldo
Iran legend Ali Daei netted the same number of goals for his country between 1993-2006 - and the 52-year-old sent Ronaldo a classy message via Instagram after his all-time record was equalled.
“Congratulations to @cristiano who is now one goal away from breaking the men’s international goal scoring record,” Daei wrote. “I am honoured that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo - great champion of football and caring humanist who inspires and impacts lives throughout the world.”
Great stuff from Daei, whose record has stood since January 2000.
It’s now a matter of time before Ronaldo becomes football’s all-time leading international goalscorer.
The Juventus star currently has five goals at Euro 2020 - two more than any other player at the tournament during the group stages - and stands an excellent chance of winning the Golden Boot award.
But Ronaldo and his teammates face a difficult Round of 16 clash against Belgium on Sunday.
Portugal will need their talisman on top form again in order to reach the quarter-finals, where a tie against either Italy or Austria awaits the winners.
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