Washington

Ronaldo makes history in Portugal's World Cup qualifier

Washington

Cristiano Ronaldo has added another historic milestone to his legendary resume. 

Ronaldo became the men's all-time record holder for the most goals scored in international play on Wednesday. 

Ronaldo's two late headers helped Portugal to a come-from-behind win against the Republic of Ireland in a qualifier game for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Five days after Ronaldo left Juventus to re-sign with Manchester United, he passed Iranian forward Ali Daei, who had scored 109 international goals in 148 appearances, for the monumental international mark.

Ronaldo had a first-half penalty saved by Irish keeper Gavin Bazunu to delay his history making moment. Portuguese midfielder and Red Devils teammate Bruno Fernandes won the ball in the box on the high press and was fouled, and amidst Premier League pundits debating who'll take the penalty kicks for Manchester United, Bazunu dove the right way to save Ronaldo's spot kick. 

In the dying embers of the match, Ronaldo's first headed goal came while Portugal were throwing the kitchen sink into the attacking third in search of an equalizer. Ronaldo lashed a free kick towards net and again Bazunu was up to the task. 

A moment later, Ronaldo headed home a Goncalo Geddes cross to the bottom right for his 110th goal in Portuguese red. Not done yet, Ronaldo sent another powerful header into the same corner to give his side the dramatic 2-1 win to keep Portugal atop Group A of the UEFA qualifying standings. 

 

The 36-year-old forward and five-time Balon d'Or winner, who was sold Aug. 27 for an initial transfer fee of up to $27.2 million from a financially struggling club in Juventus to his old home at Manchester United, has proved once again he's still got it.