Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes all-time record men’s international goalscorer

The Portuguese forward moves clear of Iranian legend Ali Daei with his 110th and 111th goals for his country

Karl Matchett
Wednesday 01 September 2021 21:50 BST
(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the all-time record goalscorer in men’s international football after scoring for Portugal against Republic of Ireland.

The forward, who re-signed for Manchester United on transfer deadline day, has netted his 110th goal in his 180th senior cap, moving ahead of Iran’s Ali Daei who had been the highest scorer since 2004 - although he was actually named as the record holder a year earlier, as Malaysia’s Mokhtar Dahari’s 89 goals were not recognised by Fifa until 2021.

Ronaldo and Daei are the only two men who have surpassed a century of goals at international level, with the Iranian achieving his tally of 109 in just 149 caps.

On Wednesday, however, Ronaldo put himself into first place alone, heading in a late equaliser in the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Ireland after he had earlier missed a penalty. He then completed an injury-time turnaround by scoring a second, his 111th in senior international football, to give Portugal a 2-1 win.

Ronaldo netted his first senior international goal in 2004 and has found the back of the net for his country at least once in every calendar year since then. His most prolific years include 14 goals in 10 games in 2019 and 13 in 13 back in 2016.

At club level he played for Sporting CP in his home nation before his original move to Old Trafford, followed by big-money transfers to Real Madrid and, three years ago, Juventus. He now returns to United and will make his second debut having just become the greatest goalscorer in men’s football on the international stage.

The top all-time scorer at international level remains Canadian legend Christine Sinclair, who added an Olympic gold medal to her haul this summer in Tokyo - she has netted a massive 187 goals in 304 caps and remains active on the international football scene.

A total of nine players in women’s internationals have scored more than 110 times for their nations.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in