Following his initial failure to score in the first match, Cristiano Ronaldo has now settled in comfortably in Saudi Arabia and has reclaimed his position as a starter in the Portuguese national team.
Under the leadership of their new manager, Roberto Martinez, Portugal has won two consecutive matches during the latest international break, with Ronaldo scoring four goals to increase his international record to 122.
On Thursday, during Portugal’s 4-0 win against Lichtenstein, Ronaldo made his 197th appearance, setting a new record as the player with the most international appearances of all time. Additionally, he scored two goals during the match, and he also scored two goals the day before in Portugal’s 6-0 victory over Luxembourg.
Cristiano Ronaldo re-finding his goal-scoring touch
By scoring two goals against Luxembourg, Ronaldo’s tally against the small and wealthy nation reached 11, which is five more goals than he has scored against any other country.
Yesterday, Ronaldo’s first goal was a straightforward finish, as he was in the right place at the right time to convert a Nuno Mendes header into an open net. His second goal involved a well-timed run to receive a precise pass from Bruno Fernandes, which he then calmly slotted past the approaching goalkeeper.
However, Ronaldo’s performance was not without controversy, as he received a yellow card for simulation, which threatened to overshadow his double.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s dive
In the 57th minute, with Portugal leading 4-0 and Ronaldo seeking a hat-trick, he nutmegged Maxime Chanot from Luxembourg as he approached the penalty area.
In an attempt to deceive the referee, Ronaldo theatrically threw himself at Chanot, hoping to win a penalty.
Despite clear evidence from multiple cameras showing Ronaldo’s simulation, he dared to appeal for a foul, which was not given by the referee.
I will never understand Ronaldo
How can you dive like this while being an all-time great… pic.twitter.com/4Q0hvzb73w
— Georgi🇧🇬 (@ItzzABC) March 26, 2023
Thankfully, the referee was not fooled by Ronaldo’s attempt to cheat and promptly gave him a yellow card for his dive. In the 65th minute, Ronaldo was replaced by Gonçalo Ramos, having failed to complete his hat-trick. Nonetheless, Ronaldo was able to further cement his outstanding international records.
With 198 international appearances to his name, Ronaldo has now broken the record for the most appearances in international matches.
He also boasts an impressive 122 goals, solidifying his position as the top scorer in international and all-time rankings. Despite being 38 years old, Ronaldo shows no signs of slowing down, with a staggering 832 career goals to his name.
Given the exceptionally physical condition that Ronaldo maintains and his current club affiliation with Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia, it would come as no surprise if he continued to play well into his 40s, with the potential to add many more goals to his already impressive tally.