FIFA World Cup 2018: Cristiano Ronaldo eyes international record after becoming Europe’s best
Cristiano Ronaldo became the most prolific European goal-scorer in international football and now only one man, Ali Daei of Iran, stands above the Portugal skipper on the all-time international goals list,football Updated: Jun 20, 2018 20:51 IST
Cristiano Ronaldo added the latest record to his hugely impressive resume with another goalscoring performance against Morocco.
Ronaldo’s diving header after four minutes of Portugal’s 1-0 World Cup Group B win saw him surpass the great Ferenc Puskas as the most prolific European of all-time in international football.
Now only one man, Ali Daei, stands above Ronaldo on the all-time international goals list, and few would back against the Real Madrid superstar getting past his mark of 109 before his stellar career is done.
Here we take a look at the five most prolific talismen in international football.
ALI DAEI (IRAN) - 109
Daei was prolific throughout his international career, scoring 109 times in 149 games for Iran. The former Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin forward’s international career spanned 13 years, Daei opening his account in 1993 and netting his last Iran goal in 2006 at age 36.
CRISTIANO RONALDO (PORTUGAL) - 85
After carrying Portugal in their thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain last week, Ronaldo’s breakthrough goal against Morocco moved him on to 85 goals in 152 games for his country. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has regularly been relied upon by his nation, who won Euro 2016.
FERENC PUSKAS (HUNGARY/SPAIN) - 84
One of the all-time greats, Puskas scored 84 times in 85 games for Hungary before later making four goalless appearances for Spain. A Real Madrid legend, Puskas helped Hungary finish as runners-up at the 1954 World Cup, netting four times – including in the 3-2 final loss to West Germany.
KUNISHIGE KAMAMOTO (JAPAN) - 80
Kamamoto’ss 80 goals for Japan came in just 84 matches. The former forward top-scored at the 1968 Olympics with seven goals, including a brace in a win in the bronze-medal match against Mexico.
GODFREY CHITALU (ZAMBIA) - 79
Chitalu is widely regarded as Zambia’s greatest ever player after netting 79 goals in 108 games for his country. It is said that Chitalu scored an incredible 107 times during the 1972 season. He went on to coach Zambia, but tragically died aged 45 after the team’s plane crashed on the way to a World Cup qualifier in 1993.
First Published: Jun 20, 2018 20:51 IST