Ronaldo becomes top scorer in international football


FARO, Portugal (AP) – Cristiano Ronaldo has become the most influential man in international football history with his 110th goal for Portugal on Wednesday.

The Portugal captain scored in the 89th minute against Ireland in a World Cup qualifier, edging out former Iranian striker Ali Daei. He added a second – another header – minutes later in a 2-1 win. Earlier in the match, he was awarded a penalty in the 15th minute.

Ronaldo, 36, who on Tuesday after leaving Juventus was playing his 180th game for Portugal. The forward made his debut for the national team in 2003 and started his historic 2004 European Championship scoring streak in a 2-1 loss to Greece in the group stage.

The only two men to have scored more than 100 times for their country are Ronaldo and Daei, who scored 109 goals in 149 games for Iran from 1993 to 2006 and played for German clubs Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin.

The most prolific goalscorer in international soccer is Canada’s Christine Sinclair, 38, who scored her 187th goal at the Tokyo Olympics where she won gold last month.

Ronaldo, whose only title with Portugal came at Euro 2016, was this year’s European Championship top scorer with five goals in four games, but his team’s title defense ended in round of 16.

Ronaldo became the first player to score in five different editions of the continental tournament, raising his score to 11 to surpass Michel Platini’s record of nine goals at the Euro.

Ronaldo is also the top scorer in Champions League history with 134 goals, 14 more than Lionel Messi, according to UEFA.

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