Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo is renowned as one of the most prolific and consistent goal-scorers to have ever played the game.

Ronaldo, in fact, is the only player in football history to have scored more than 800 goals for club and country. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has also scored the most goals in International football.

Despite his top performances for Portugal on the continental stage, including a European championship and a UEFA Nations League title, success in the FIFA World Cup has eluded the superstar. Ronaldo has featured in every edition since his debut in 2006, smashing eight goals in 17 matches in the World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo's FIFA World Cup record

Cristiano Ronaldo made his FIFA World Cup debut against Angola in 2006 and in just his second match, the then 21-year-old Ronaldo scored his first FIFA World Cup goal against Iran, making him the youngest Portuguese to score in the tournament.

The winger scored the winning penalty in the shootout against England in an engrossing quarter-final. However, Portugal failed to win the semi-final and finished fourth after a loss to Germany.

Cristiano Ronaldo had taken the footballing world by storm by the next edition with his success at the club level with Manchester United. Ronaldo, this time, captained the Portuguese national team at the 2010 edition. 

The No. 7 had a sedate campaign, scoring only once, against North Korea, as Portugal lost to Spain in the round of 16.

Cristiano Ronaldo dragged Portugal into the FIFA World Cup in 2014 with a breathtaking hat-trick against Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden in the qualifiers. But, once again, it was a difficult campaign for them. Ronaldo added only one goal to his World Cup tally as the team suffered elimination in the group stage.

Ronaldo’s most prolific campaign on the world stage was in Russia. In fact, the Portuguese captain’s first hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup was also in 2018.

After scoring an early penalty, Ronaldo found a way past the Spanish defence again before half-time. However, Spain bounced back to take the lead in the game.

In the 88th minute, Portugal won a free kick, setting the stage for Ronaldo to level the scores. So he did, with great poise, becoming the oldest player to score a hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner against Morocco, which ended up being his last goal in the 2018 edition.

Ronaldo continued his streak of scoring at least once in all World Cup editions, hitting a penalty in Portugal's opening game at Qatar 2022 against Ghana. He is now the first player to score in five editions.

Two more goals would help Ronaldo upstage Eusebio and become the top goal-scorer for Portugal in the FIFA World Cup.

The Portuguese legend is yet to add the FIFA World Cup to his impressive trophy cabinet. The 2022 edition in Qatar is likely to be the 37-year-old’s last opportunity to change that.

Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup goals

Goal number





Germany 2006


North Korea

South Africa 2010



Brazil 2014



Russia 2018



Russia 2018



Russia 2018



Russia 2018



Qatar 2022


Featured photo: Alex Pantling / AFP