- Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th & 101st goals for Portugal against Sweden
- He became the second man to join the international century club
- We analyse his goals and standing in international football
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first international goal was a 93rd-minute header from a cross by Luis Figo, a moment that symbolically represented a passing of the torch. He was just 19 at the time and the goal was ultimately for nothing, as Portugal lost 2-1 in their opening game at UEFA EURO 2004 against a Greece side that would go on to lift the trophy.
Sixteen years later, Portugal’s No7 reached the next career landmark against Sweden, taking his tally to 100 and then 101 international goals. He is the only currently active male player to be in the century club and IR Iran’s Ali Daei, with 109, is the only other man in history to have scored more.
With the next continental showdown around the corner and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ coming up in two years, he will have plenty of opportunities to break the record. For now, we shine the spotlight on his 101 goals and his standing in international football.
The most influential Portuguese player
Portugal enjoyed their best placing at a World Cup in Eusebio’s day, finishing third at England 1966. Their golden generation of Luis Figo, Rui Costa and Joao Pinto won two FIFA World Youth Championships (in 1989 and 1991), and put A Seleção das Quinas among Europe’s best teams. Nevertheless, there is no question that Cristiano Ronaldo is the most important player in Portuguese football history:
- Portugal have won the only two titles in their trophy cabinet with him as captain: EURO 2016 and the UEFA Nations League 2019.
- Portugal have only competed at seven World Cups, including four in Ronaldo’s era:Germany 2006 (fourth place), South Africa 2010 (Round of 16), Brazil 2014 (group stage) and Russia 2018 (Round of 16).
- He is the only Portuguese to have scored at four World Cups, and the only European player to find the net at four EUROs.
- Ronaldo has been named FIFA World Player of the Year five times.
Did you know?
- Decisive goals: Of the 101 Portugal goals he has scored, only 17 came in friendlies.
- Complete player: 55 of his goals have been with his right foot, 22 with his left and 24 with his head.
- From open play and set-pieces: Ronaldo has scored ten direct free-kicks, 11 penalties and the rest from open play.
- Deadly in the closing stages: 30 of his 101 goals have arrived in the final 15 minutes or in added time.
- Nine goals in FIFA competitions: Ronaldo has found the target seven times at World Cups and twice at the FIFA Confederations Cup™.