Tasnim – Cristiano Ronaldo took his tally of international goals to 99 with a late tap-in as Portugal secured a place at Euro 2020 with a labored 2-0 win over Luxembourg on Sunday.
Ronaldo fell just short of becoming the second player in history to reach a century for his country after Iran’s Ali Daei on an afternoon when he struggled on a slow pitch at Stade Jose Barthel, where the reigning European champion was made to work hard for the victory.
The creative endeavor of Bernardo Silva proved more of a threat than Ronaldo’s presence and it was the Manchester City playmaker who teed up Bruno Fernandes to break the deadlock late in the first half of Sunday’s Group B clash.
Former Iran striker Daei stands at 109 goals from 149 matches.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport in October, Daei was full of praise for the Portuguese, naming him among the top three players of all-time.
“I am very proud of this world record as long as it lasts, and I think it’s the same for all the Iranian people. They are happy with what I have achieved in my career. In fact, the record does not belong to me, but to all my people,” Daei said.
“I won’t be disappointed because records are meant to be broken. It will happen sooner or later: I am happy that such a great player will surpass me. I really like him and the way he moves in the field. Ronaldo is still in top form, I consider him in the top three ever. I can only wish him the best,” the ex-Iran forward added.