At 34, the Juventus goal-machine is showing no signs of slowing down for Portugal and he has an iconic record in his sights.
Ali Daei's international goal-scoring record of 109 strikes for Iran is now under serious threat from Portugal's iconic superstar.
🐐 Ronaldo out on his own in Euro Championship qualifiers
With his four-goal haul against Lithuania last night, Ronaldo jumped quickly from 89 to 93 and a century now looks well within his grasp before the end of the year. With 25 goals scored, he has now become the all-time leading goalscorer in European Championship qualifiers, another record to add to his growing collection. This was Ronaldo's eighth international hat-trick.
💖 Portugal coach heaps praise on his star player
"This is the clear and irrevocable proof that he is the best player in the world," Portugal coach Fernando Santos claimed post-match.
Ronaldo himself also sounded positively bullish.
"I'm having a good time, but the team was doing very well too," Ronaldo told reporters.
"I am happy and enjoying this moment, not because I scored the goals, but because of the level we have been able to demonstrate in recent years.
"It is up to me to continue helping the national team."
"Are there any football players who have more records than me?" he asked. "I don't think there are any footballers who have more records than me."
🗿 Ronaldo chasing a century of goals & immortality
If he keeps it up and stays fit, there's no reason for Ronaldo to not catch and surpass Daei's tally of 109 goals, possibly during next year's Euro 2020 tournament. Cristiano has scored 33 goals for Portugal in the last four years. It took him nine years to reach that tally at the start of his international career, so the evidence suggests that Ronaldo is nowhere close to slowing down.
Iranian icon Daei scored 109 goals for his country across 149 appearances and won a Bundesliga title in 1999 with Bayern Munich.
Ronaldo needs only 17 more goals to surpass Daei's record that many pundits thought would never be reached. The smart money is on him getting there with time to spare.
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