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Cristiano Ronaldo goes past Ali Daei’s 109 goals, sets new record for most goals in international football

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Portugal football team captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace in his team's impressive 4-0 win over Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League 2022-23 on June 6, taking his tally to 117 goals in international football.

After midfielder William Carvalho opened the scoring for Portugal in the 15th minute, Ronaldo netted two goals in the space of just five minutes to give his team a 3-0 lead just before half-time. Manchester City left-back Joao Cancelo added another strike in the 68th minute to help Portugal secure a dominant victory.

The Manchester United star forward had previously surpassed former Iran center-forward Ali Daei for most goals in international football. Daei’s record of 109 goals stood untouchable for 15 years, since 2006, until Ronaldo matched the figure at the re-scheduled Euro 2020 earlier this year.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his debut for the Portugal national team in a 1–0 win over Kazakhstan, is the highest appearance maker for the Euro 2016 winners. With his 181st international cap on October 9, Ronaldo broke the European record for most-capped players in men’s international football which former Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos held since 2020.

Ronaldo's major rival Lionel Messi has moved up to third in the list having netted two goals in the 3-0 win against Jamaica. The former Barcelona captain had earlier surpassed Brazil icon Pele to become the most prolific international goalscorer from South America and is now the first South American footballer to have 90 international goals.

Meanwhile, the Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri jumped to sixth spot. The tally of Sunil Chhetri's international goals has now gone up to 84 goals.

Most international goals in football

No. Player Country Goals
1. Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 117*
2. Ali Daei Iran 109
3 Lionel Messi Argentina 90*
4. Mokhtar Dahari Malaysia 89
5. Ferenc Puskas Hungary 84
6. Sunil Chhetri India 84*
7. Ali Mabkhout United Arab Emirates 80*
8. Godfrey Chitalu Zambia 79
9. Hussein Saeed Iraq 78
10. Pele Brazil 77

Highest active goalscorers in international football

No. Player Country Goals
1. Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 117
2. Lionel Messi Argentina 90
3. Sunil Chhetri India 84
4. Ali Mabkhout United Arab Emirates 80
5. Robert Lewandowski Poland 76

Featured photo: AFP / BERNADETT SZABO

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