Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible century: Strike against Sweden brought up 100 international goals for legendary forward… but how did he get there, who has he scored against most and where has he been most successful?
- Cristiano Ronaldo is the second male footballer to score 100 international goals
- It is the latest in a long line of extraordinary achievements in his career
- The Juventus star scored an outrageous free-kick in the first half against Sweden
- Iran legend Ali Daei holds record with his incredible tally of 109 goals in 149 caps
Cristiano Ronaldo became only the second male footballer to score 100 goals for his country as he netted a sublime free-kick for Portugal against Sweden on Tuesday night.
He is the first European to reach the incredible landmark, and is closing in on the all-time record of 109 set by Iran legend Ali Daei after making it 101 goals moments later.
It is just the latest in a long line of landmarks passed by the 35-year-old, who scored the 700th goal of his extraordinary career last year.
Cristiano Ronaldo became only the second male footballer to score 100 goals for his country
The Juventus star netted a sublime free-kick for Portugal against Sweden on Tuesday night
Portugal captain Ronaldo celebrates after reaching a century of goals for his country
Ronaldo took his tally to 101 goals shortly after hitting landmark with effort from outside box
Ronaldo pokes home on the line to take his goal tally for Portugal up to 99 last year
The 35-year-old forward took his international tally to 98 against Lithuania in November
Ronaldo accelerated his goalscoring return in 2019 as he closed in on a century
RONALDO’S GOALS – CLOSER LOOK
Inside box: 80
The most established nation he has had success against is Sweden, who have conceded seven times to him. After that come Holland, who Ronaldo has scored past four times.
He has never scored against England, though it was his decisive penalty in the 2006 shootout that sent the Golden Generation packing in Gelsenkirchen.
Brazil, Germany and France are also among those who’ve managed to keep Ronaldo out.
As time has passed Ronaldo has become increasingly more prolific in front of goal for his country. Last year was his deadliest in front of goal – providing him with 14. He’s reached the landmark in double quick time having started 2019 on 85 goals for his country.
He was in red hot form last year for Portugal, scoring 11 times in just six games, only failing to score in the Nations League final against Holland last June.
The refinement of his game to more of a penalty box player than all-round spearhead has undoubtedly accelerated his goal return in recent years.
Unsurprisingly it’s the right boot of Ronaldo that has been the most prolific in the last 16 years, scoring over half of his goals – 54 to be precise. His infamous heading ability has helped him plunder 25 goals, three more than he has scored with his left.
The vast majority of his goals have come from inside the box, 80 of them, with 21 from outside the box. Set-pieces have come in handy. He’s added nine from a direct free-kick and 11 from the penalty spot.
The final half-hour of games is where Ronaldo tends to come to the fore. Nearly half of his goals have come after the 60th minute – 50 to be exact. With defences tiring, Ronaldo’s physical endurance comes to the fore. Of those 48, 28 have been scored in the final quarter of the 90 minutes.
Ronaldo scored his first goal for Portugal at Euro 2004 with this header against Greece
The then-19-year-old celebrates scoring in the quarter-final victory over Holland
Ronaldo sinks to his knees after scoring for the first time in a World Cup against Iran in 2006
Ronaldo finds the bottom corner for Portugal against the Czech Republic at Euro 2008
Qualifiers for European Championships and World Cups have seen Ronaldo plunder 61 of his goals, unsurprisingly given the relative strength of opposition that Portugal face at this stage.
He managed to score twice in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and scored three times in the inaugural Nations League.
A further 16 goals have come at major tournaments. He has scored seven times at World Cups, including the incredible hat-trick he notched against Spain in Russia last year.
In the Euros he has bagged nine times, with his most important goal being the opener in the semi-final victory over Wales in 2016 that took Portugal into the final.
Ronaldo has managed to spread his goals fairly evenly throughout his career. The most of his goals have come at home – 41 of them – but he has netted an impressive 35 times on the road, and 25 on neutral territory.
Ronaldo notches his only goal of the 2010 World Cup in comical fashion against North Korea
Ronaldo slides to his knees as he celebrates scoring in Portugal’s win over Holland in 2012
Ronaldo netted once at the 2014 World Cup as Portugal were knocked out in the group stage
He scored three times at Euro 2016 as Portugal triumphed over France in the final
GOALS BY COUNTRIES
Faroe Islands 4
Northern Ireland 3
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2
Czech Republic 2
Saudi Arabia 2
New Zealand 1
North Korea 1
He began his astonishing international career in August 2003 at the age of 18, just weeks after completing his £12million move to Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon.
He was a half-time substitute, coming on in place of the legendary Luis Figo, in a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan, secured by a 65th minute Simao goal.
After dazzling with his skill throughout an encouraging debut season at Old Trafford, Ronaldo was called up by Felipe Scolari to the Portugal squad for Euro 2004, which they were hosting.
His first goal arrived in the opening game, though it could not prevent a shock defeat by the eventual champions Greece. He netted again in victory over Holland in the quarter-finals, but was left in tears as the Greeks secured a famous victory in the final in Lisbon.
He has been a mainstay ever since, and has scored in each of the eight international tournaments he has played in for his country.
His best form arrived at the 2018 World Cup, where he scored four times despite a second-round exit to Uruguay.
You wouldn’t have bet against him delivering again at Euro 2020 but that has been postponed by one more year. He had to wait a while to hit his century but after reaching the landmark he soon made it 101. Daei’s record is in his sights.
Ronaldo scored this sensational free-kick to complete a hat-trick against Spain in 2018
Ronaldo celebrates after completing his hat-trick against Spain in Sochi last year
Ronaldo helped fire Portugal to Nations League victory on home soil in the summer
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