ROME - Cristiano Ronaldo continues to break footballing records. In Portugal’s opening Euro 2020 group F clash against Hungary, the forward netted twice in the 3-0 win and has become the all-time leading scorer in European Championship history. He is also the first player to appear and score in five tournaments.
The Juventus star now has 11 Euro tournament goals to his name - and 106 goals in 176 games for his country, who are the reigning European champions. He is just three goals away from going level with Iran legend Ali Daei as the all-time leading goalscorer in international men’s football.
Speaking after the victory against Hungary, the 36-year-old said: “The important thing was to win. It was a difficult game, against an opponent who defended very well, but we scored three goals and I am very grateful to the team for helping me to score two goals and be the star of the match.”
Portugal are in the Euro 2020 “group of death” and their next match is against Germany on Saturday 19 June. They finish their group F fixtures against France on Wednesday 23 June.
Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s great rival, is also on international duty with Argentina at the 2021 Copa America.
The 33-year-old scored a wonderful free-kick as Argentina drew 1-1 with Chile in their opening match. Messi now has 72 international goals.
Argentina’s next Copa fixture is against Uruguay on Saturday 19 June.
International careers (friendly and competitive matches)
- Ronaldo: 106 goals and 31 assists in 176 appearances for Portugal
- Messi: 72 goals and 42 assists in 144 appearances for Argentina
- Hat-tricks: Ronaldo 9; Messi 6
- International goal ratio: Ronaldo 0.59; Messi 0.50
- Penalties: Ronaldo 12 (6 missed); Messi 17 (4 missed)
What people say about Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo: “I really admire the career he has had so far, and, for his part, he has already said that he had trouble when I left the Spanish league because it is a rivalry that he appreciates. It is a good rivalry that exists in football, but this is no exception. Michael Jordan had rivals in basketball, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were great rivals in Formula One, the only common point between all the big rivalries in the sport is that they are healthy.”
Pep Guardiola: “He is the best player I have ever seen. The best thing about him is not what he does but how simple he makes everything look.He is not just the best player because he can dribble past three or four players, it is because he does it better than anyone in the world.”
Neymar: “I played with Messi, who is, for me, one of the greatest footballers of all time, and he is my idol in football.”
Diego Maradona: “I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi. Messi is a genius.”
What people say about Ronaldo
Lionel Messi: “(Ronaldo) is always there scoring goals in all the games and taking part in his club and national side. He has been doing that for many years and whether he is at his peak or a bit below it makes no difference.”
Brazil legend Pele, after Ronaldo reached 770 official goals: “Life is a solo flight. Each makes his own journey. And what a beautiful journey you are having. I admire you a lot, I love watching you play and this is no secret to anyone. Congratulations on breaking my record of goals in official matches. My only regret is not being able to give you a hug today.”
George Best: “There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it’s been a compliment to me.”
Zinedine Zidane: “When you play with Ronaldo on your team, you are already 1-0 up.”
Gerard Pique: “The best player I have ever played against has to be Ronaldo. You cannot afford to take your eyes off him.”