Ireland Heartbreak As Cristiano Ronaldo Surpasses International Goal Scoring Record.
There have been many words used to describe the talent that is Cristiano Ronaldo over the years such is his influence on the beautiful game since he began his career back in 2003.
His goal scoring record is second to none and although the debate has always been around who is better, Ronaldo or Messi, there can be no doubt that the greatest goal scorer between the two is Ronaldo.
Last night his Portugal side played Ireland in a World Cup 2022 qualifier at the Estádio Do Algarve and things didn't get off to a great start. After only 15 minutes Portugal were awarded a controversial penalty after Jeff Hendrick was found guilty of bringing don Bruno Fernandes and referee Matej Jugg pointed to the spot. VAR asked Jugg to check the video and after a lengthy look, still awarded the penalty despite what appeared to be a touch on the ball from Hendrick.
To everyone's surprise Ronaldo's subsequent penalty was saved by 19 year old goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu. The young shot stopper is on loan to Portsmouth from Manchester City and made an impression with that save early on in the game. Ireland then took the lead through John Egan after 45 minutes but it was the end of the match that left everyone talking, and Ronaldo breaking another record.
With only a minute of the game left and with Ireland looking like they had all three points in the bag, Ronaldo was there to head home the equalizer saving Portugal from the jaws of defeat and surpassing Iran's Ali Daei's international top scorer record, for men, of 109 goals.
It seemed harsh as Ireland worked hard to get the result they wanted but then more heartache 6 minutes into injury time, they lost the game. Cristiano Ronaldo again popping up with a sublime header and the winner for his country. That took his international goal tally to 111 goals and cements him as the greatest international goal scorer of all time. Add to that his all time top scorer record, the Champions League all time top scorer (134 goals), most EURO and World Cup finals goals combined (20) and the plethora of other achievements in football.
There can't be any doubt that Ronaldo is one of the greatest players to ever grace a football field. His record speaks for itself as well as the countless individual and team awards he's won. There will always be comparisons with Lionel Messi, and Ronaldo himself has even gone on record in the past to say the better Messi does the more it drives him on to do better, and he's certainly done that.
At 36 many players will be looking for their final payday or to wind down at a lower level of football but Rinaldo is made of different stuff and he only last week left Serie A club Juventus to re-join the club closest to his heart, Manchester United. A test for him for sure yes. Can he still do it in the Premier League? Why not? He was top scorer in Italy last season and apart from the Premier League fan boy's opinions, Serie A is still one of the best leagues in the world, there's no reason why Ronaldo can't still do it. Hell, that question was even raised when Larsson, Ibrahimović and Cavani joined the club and they all had good spells with United.
With the world watching his return back to Manchester Untied, and the level of fitness he still has at this late stage of his career, this season you can bet on him scoring a lot more. Not just in club football but also internationally, stretching that record further. Only Ronaldo, at 36 years old, can go on playing for some years to come.