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Cristiano Ronaldo heralds Iran's Ali Daei after breaking scoring record

Portugal forward scored his 110th and 111th international goals during a World Cup qualifying win, breaking the record in men's football
Ronaldo is now the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football (AFP/Carlos Costa)

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 110th and 111th international goals on Wednesday, breaking a world record previously held by Ali Daei, the centre forward who scored a staggering 109 goals for Iran between 1993 and 2006.

Following Portugal's 2-1 win over the Republic of Ireland in a World Cup qualifying match, Ronaldo celebrated his achievement on Instagram, while paying tribute to Daei. 

“Ali Daei has set the standards in such a high level, that at some point even I started thinking that I might never catch him," Ronaldo wrote. “Congratulations to the 'Shariar' for holding the record for so long and thanks for always showing so much respect for me every time I scored and as I became closer and closer to his outstanding number.” 

Ronaldo equalled Daei’s record in June during the Covid-delayed Euro 2020 competition.

At the time, Daei congratulated the 36-year-old, saying: "I am honoured that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo - great champion of football and caring humanist who inspires and impacts lives throughout the world. My record being touched by a player like Ronaldo feels like another record to me."

In an interview with RTE, Ronaldo, who recently rejoined Manchester United, revelled in his achievement.

"I'm so happy, not only because I beat the record, but for the special moment that we had,” he said. "Two goals at the end of the game. I have to appreciate what the team did, we believed until the end. I'm so glad."

Ronaldo and Daei are the only two men's football players to score 90 or more international goals. 

Christine Sinclair, captain of Canada's national women's football team, holds the overall record with 187 goals scored in international games.