Ronaldo closes in on all-time international goal-scoring record
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates scoring a goal during the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier match between Lithuania and Portugal in Vilnius, Lithuania, 10 September 2019. EFE-EPA/VALDA KALINA
By Carlos Garcia
Lisbon, Sep 11 (efe-epa).- Cristiano Ronaldo closed in on the all-time international goals record after he scored four goals for Portugal in a 5-1 win over Lithuania in the Euro 2020 qualifiers.
The 34-year-old goal machine now has a tally of 93 goals for his national team, just 16 short of Iranian legend Ali Daei's record of 109 goals in 149 appearances.
Ronaldo, the winner of the 2009 FIFA Puskas Award and five Ballon d'Or awards, hit a first-half penalty and a hat-trick in the second half against Lithuania.
This is the second time Ronaldo scored four goals for his country after Portugal's 6-0 win over Andorra in the 2018 Russia World Cup qualifications.
In his professional career Ronaldo scored a total of five goals for Sporting CP's first team before he joined Manchester United in 2003, where he was crowned UEFA Champions League winner five years later.
He also scored 34 goals in the Premier League in the 2007/2008 season, the same year he won the Golden Boot and the Best FIFA Men's Player award.
His scoring ability was reflected again in Portugal when he sent Man United into the 2008/2009 Champions League semifinals at the Dragao Stadium with a fantastic long-range goal that earned him the first-ever Puskas Award in 2009.
Manchester lost the final of Europe's most prestigious annual club tournament to Barcelona at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Ronaldo signed for Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, where he managed to score 450 goals in nine seasons.
He clinched the Golden Boot again with Madrid in the 2011 campaign after he scored 40 La Liga goals, 2014 (31 goals) and 2015 (48).
The evergreen player also claimed the Ballon d'Or four times with the Spanish side in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. EFE-EPA