Cristiano Ronaldo Reacts to 'Special' Record as Portugal Icon Becomes Top International Goalscorer
06:52 GMT 02.09.2021 (Updated: 07:16 GMT 02.09.2021)
© AFP 2022 / CARLOS COSTAPortugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 European qualifying round group A football match between Portugal and Republic of Ireland at the Algarve stadium in Loule, near Faro, southern Portugal, on September 1, 2021
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, who is known for his penchant for breaking world records, made history as the Portugal skipper became the leading goalscorer in men's international football after netting a brace against Ireland in their World Cup qualifying contest on Wednesday.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his return to Manchester United from Serie A side Juventus only last week, has reacted to his latest record-breaking feat against Ireland.
CR7, who was tied with Ali Daei at 109 goals, was delighted to break the Iranian's long-standing record after he powered Portugal's stunning comeback with his twin strikes in the 89th minute and stoppage-time to seal a dramatic 2-1 triumph over the Republic of Ireland at the Algarve Stadium.
The Portuguese legend now has 111 international goals to his name to emerge as the most prolific men's goalscorer in the history of international football.
Terming his record "very special", Ronaldo said he was "truly proud" of his grand achievement.
"I can't even start to express myself in words! I'm thrilled with an overwhelming sensation! Let's go, Portugal! Let's go!", the 36-year-old superstar said on Instagram.
"From all the records that I have broken during my career – and fortunately there have been a few – this one is very special for me and it's certainly on the shelf of the achievements that make me truly proud".
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Ronaldo, who is known for his professionalism around the world and has taken immense pride in representing his country on the international stage, paid a rich tribute to the Portugal fans, saying "every sacrifice" he has made during his illustrious career has been "worth it" due to their love and respect.
"First of all, because every time I represent my country is a special moment, for knowing that I'm defending Portugal and showing to the world what Portuguese people are made of. Secondly, because national teams competitions have always had a very strong impact in me as I was growing up, watching my idols playing for their flags every other summer in Euros and in World Cups. But finally and above all, because scoring 111 goals for Portugal means 111 moments like the ones we experienced today in Algarve, moments of worldwide union and happiness for millions and millions of Portuguese citizens all around the globe. For them, every sacrifice is worth it", he added.
The Man United striker reiterated his commitment to the national team after revealing that he isn't "closing" his Portugal goal count anytime soon.
"Another reason for me to appreciate this achievement as much as I do right now, is because Ali Daei has set the standards in such a high level, that at some point even I started thinking that I might never catch him. Congratulations to the 'Shariar' for holding the record for so long and thanks for always showing so much respect for me every time I scored and as I became closer and closer to his outstanding number".
"Thank you Portugal. Thanks to all my teammates and opponents for making this journey so unforgettable. Let's keep meeting inside the pitch in the years to come! I'm not closing the count just yet…", Ronaldo concluded.
Despite Ronaldo's late heroics in the game, it was the Irish, who made an impressive start in the clash as they took a 1-0 lead with the help of John Egan's goal in the 45th minute.
As the match progressed, Seamus Coleman and his boys could have even imagined a massive upset win over the hosts, but Ronaldo eventually succeeded in shattering their dream.
With barely 10 minutes to go on the clock, CR7 came to his team's rescue after he fired Goncalo Guedes' cross inside Ireland's goal post before delivering the winning goal in the 96th minute.
With his goals against Ireland, Ronaldo also ended his struggles in World Cup qualifying clashes as he only managed a solitary goal in Portugal's last three games.