Cristiano Ronaldo made international football history for Portugal on Wednesday night.
Ronaldo makes history
Having entered the France clash having never scored more than three goals at a European championships, you’d certainly forgive Ronaldo for not being able to maintain his purple match.
Besides, Les Bleus are not only the champions of the world, but Ronaldo entered the game having never actually scored against the great footballing nation.
Portugal 2-2 France Highlights | Euro 2020 (Football Terrace)
Ronaldo: International history-maker
Ronaldo converted two penalties in Budapest to ensure that Portugal secured a 2-2 draw and booked themselves a place in the knockout rounds where they will face Belgium.
But there was more on the line for Ronaldo than just a place in the round of 16 because scoring a brace against France meant that he extended his international goalscoring tally to 109 strikes.
That just happens to be the world-record total of Iran’s Ali Daei and it feels like just a matter of time before Ronaldo makes the feat his own, inevitably extending it even deeper into three figures.
It’s an astonishing achievement and one that provides us with the perfect excuse to look back on all the goals that Ronaldo has scored for Portugal across his decorated international career.
Ronaldo’s greatest Portugal goal
And that very pause for reflection brought us back to a game between Denmark and Portugal that happened almost a decade ago and featured Ronaldo’s greatest ever goal for his country.
Not ringing a bell? Well, that’s because the goal isn’t talked about anywhere near as much as it should be, inexplicably sliding into the ether behind lesser, although more high-profile, efforts.
When you talk about the pure, objective difficulty and impressiveness of the goal regardless of the game’s significance, we feel confident that Ronaldo’s firecracker against Denmark tops the lot.
So, what are you waiting for? Do yourselves a favour by checking out the glorious strike below:
Oh mama. Is there anything better than an old-school knuckle-ball free-kick?
Ronaldo’s free-kick pomp
The sad truth is that Ronaldo hasn’t been able to score free-kicks anywhere near as consistently as he used to during the era in which he lashed that scorcher into Thomas Sørensen’s top corner.
However, given that we live in the internet age, it doesn’t take much to look back on Ronaldo’s more prolific days from set-pieces – and there’s no denying that his Denmark effort is one of his finest.
Perhaps the biggest contender for status as Ronaldo’s greatest ever Portugal goal would be his free-kick effort against Spain at the World Cup.
There’s no denying that Ronaldo’s hat-trick-sealing strike was an absolute worldie, but when we’re talking about distance, difficult and sheer ‘wow’ factor, it can’t quite compete with the 2011 strike.
Then again, even if we only had 109 tap-ins to choose from, it wouldn’t matter because the fact remains that Ronaldo is the greatest international goalscorer that the world has ever seen.