Cristiano Ronaldo continues to prove himself as the king of international football after he had scored his 112th international goal in Portugal’s 3-0 friendly win over 2022 FIFA World Cup hosts Qatar on Saturday night. Ronaldo scored the match’s opening goal at the Estadio Algarve, which pulls him further away from previous international top goalscorer record holder Ali Daei. By playing in Saturday’s friendly, Ronaldo also broke a new record as he became the most-capped male European player in history.
Having broken Daei’s record with his brace against the Republic of Ireland back in September, Manchester United’s very own Ronaldo continued to surpass the Iranian legend by breaking the deadlock in the 37th minute, blasting home from close range past Qatari goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb to give Portugal the advantage coming into half-time.
Ronaldo was subbed off by Portugal head coach Fernando Santos during the interval, however, he had already earned his 181st cap for the national team, surpassing Sergio Ramos as being Europe’s most-capped male player.
As with Daei, Ronaldo’s now aiming for an even bigger fish to fry as he seeks to depose Malaysian international Soh Chin Ann, who has the world record of being the most-capped male player ever with 195 caps for the Harimau Malaya from 1969 to 1984.
Former Southampton captain Jose Fonte made it 2-0 Portugal shortly after the restart, before AC Milan’s Rafael Leao threatened Al Sheeb’s goal twice, the debutant’s efforts hitting the woodwork. Former Rossoneri man Andre Silva then wrapped up the win for the Selecao das Quinas in the final minute of the match, the RB Leipzig defender slamming home past Al Sheeb to ensure a comprehensive win for the Portuguese.
Unlike the other groups in the UEFA qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, Portugal’s Group A only has five teams playing in it. This means that a nation will have the entire matchweek off as the other nations play against each other, therefore to ensure that they didn’t spend the entire matchweek out of action the nation not playing in that matchweek will play a friendly with Qatar that does not impact the final Group A standings at all.
Portugal are currently in 2nd place in Group A following group leaders Serbia’s 1-0 win away at Luxembourg, however Santos’ men have a game in hand compared to the Serbs.