Football News

Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal’s talisman continues astonishing qualifying record

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:37, 12 October 2019

Portugal stepped up their quest to qualify for Euro 2020 with a 3-0 win over Luxembourg on Friday night.

The victory sees Portugal move four points clear of third-placed Serbia in Group B with three games remaining and a positive head-to-head record should a tie-breaker be required.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva opened the scoring, and Goncalo Guedes completed the win but the match was all about second goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Juventus forward looked a man possessed in trying to get on the scoresheet, attempting solo efforts and bicycle kicks before finally finding the net with a wonderful chip over the goalkeeper.

It was Ronaldo’s 94th goal for Portugal in 161 internationals, nine of which have come in the last five games across all competitions. With the goal, Ronaldo has moved slightly closer to Iranian Ali Daei’s record for most goals scored in men’s international football, which currently stands at 109.

Of those 94 goals, an incredible 56 have come in qualifying campaigns for World Cups and European Championships – squashing any idea that Ronaldo might be a flat-track bully. With Ronaldo in the team, Portugal are yet to miss out on qualification for an international tournament, though that record does stretch back to 2002.

Ronaldo’s determination to score came with the Portuguese forward closing in on 700 goals for club and country, with the strike against Luxembourg taking him to 699.

Up next for Portugal is a trip to Group B leaders Ukraine on Monday evening, with Ronaldo having the added incentive in trying to fire his side to victory.

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