Cristiano Ronaldo moved on to 93 international goals this week, scoring four against Lithuania as Portugal secured a 5-1 win in Vilnius.
This means the forward is now only 16 goals behind men’s international record holder Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals in 149 games for Iran before retiring in 2006.
It now seems entirely a matter of when rather than if Ronaldo passes the Iranian to become the record holder – indeed, given his drive, it is becoming likely.
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He has scored his 93 goals in 160 games – which equates to 0.58 goals per match. If Ronaldo holds that rate, he would require 28 games to equal Daei’s record.
However, Ronaldo’s scoring rate has improved in the last couple of years, with coach Fernando Santos using him in a more central role and surrounding and supporting him with creativity.
For example, Ronaldo has 12 goals in his last ten Portugal games, a rate of 1.2 goals per game. If Ronaldo continues at this pace, he would require only 14 more appearances to overhaul Daei.
Portugal have four Euro 2020 qualifiers to come, two of which come against minnows Luxembourg, while Santos’ side also host a return fixture with Lithuania.
This could further boost his tally ahead of Euro 2020, perhaps by as many as eight goals, if Ronaldo capitalises on the weaker defences Portugal’s fellow Group B combatants possess.
With friendlies and warm-up games also to come before the major tournament begins, Ronaldo could well be closing in on Daei’s record by the start of
Euro 2020 could bring seven more games if Portugal again reach the final.
Therefore, given his recent scoring rate, it is quite conceivable that Ronaldo could break the international goal scoring record during the Euros, possibly in the final.