Portugal football team captain Cristiano Ronaldo scored a goal in his team's thrilling 3-2 win over Ghana in the FIFA World Cup on November 24, taking his tally to 118 goals in international football.

Ronaldo opened the scoring for Portugal in the 65th minute from the penalty spot. Goals in the 78th and 80th minutes by Joao Felix and Rafael Leao, respectively, helped the Portuguese team begin their quest for the FIFA World Cup title with all three points.

The former Manchester United 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.

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 with 95 goals in 170 matches. 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 more than 90 international goals.

Meanwhile, the Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri jumped to the 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 118*
2. Ali Daei Iran 109
3 Lionel Messi Argentina 95*
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 118
2. Lionel Messi Argentina 95
3. Sunil Chhetri India 84
4. Ali Mabkhout United Arab Emirates 80
5. Robert Lewandowski Poland 77


Featured photo: AFP / BERNADETT SZABO