36 & Running: Cristiano Ronaldo, Football’s Ultimate Goalscorer

Cristiano Ronaldo has aged as fine as wine. The 37-year-old Portuguese sensation recently broke Iranian legend Ali Daei’s 109-goal record and etched himself in history books as football’s greatest ever international goal scorer. Moreover, he did that in style as he bagged a stupendous brace in a 2-1 victory against the Republic of Ireland – including a 96th minute winner.

According to the best football betting sites, bookmakers had predicted odds to favor the Arab i.e., for him to hold on to the achievement for a bit longer, but it took the Portuguese legend less than ten games in 2021 to overtake the record which stood strong with Daei for about two decades.

One can access a whole set of invaluable resources with respect to the topic of betting in Arab countries, such as where to find the best odds, how-to guides, an overview of markets, and also bonuses and rewards for newcomers. The Iranian marksman, who starred in various leagues all across the Middle East and also the Bundesliga throughout his long career, perhaps saw the Portuguese bulldozer fast approaching.

From ESPN FC: John Egan’s opener for Ireland puts Portugal on upset alert, but Cristiano Ronaldo saves the day with a late brace for Portugal. Ronaldo’s 110th and 111th goals for Portugal make him the top men’s international goal scorer of all time.

Astonishingly, Ronaldo started his national side career with the U15 team in 2001 and less than three years later, he would be playing in the EURO 2004 finals against Greece. Portugal heartbreakingly fumbled to a narrow 1-0 defeat, much to the disappointment of World Cup-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and his team of youngsters. Nevertheless, the agony of the final loss proved to be an instigating factor for 18-year-old CR7, who would go on to etch an unforgettable legacy in both club and national colors.

He managed to register 16 caps for the Seleccao, scoring 7 goals in his first year i.e. in 2004. Since then, he has averaged 6 goals every passing year – with his highest goalscoring feat arriving in 2019, where he scored 14 goals in 10 appearances, followed by 2021, where he has presently scored 13 goals in 12 caps. Both of his highest-scoring years have been achieved after he touched 34, an age where most footballers are either retiring from international duty or hanging up their boots altogether. Not Cristiano, though. 

The former Real Madrid forward has never been one to doubt his abilities and is sure of his longevity, seeking to go way past his 40s. Not many players can boast of the Portuguese’s stamina, speed, and style at the veteran age of 36 and this is exactly what fuels his fire. 

Most recently, after registering his 10th international hat trick – the most by any player in world football – in a 5-0 win over Luxembourg in the World Cup Qualifiers, he exclaimed in his Instagram post:

“I had promised that I would always be looking for more and more and more! It is in my DNA and in our DNA, we are never satisfied, we never let our arms down and we will always fight for everything we can achieve!”

Ronaldo shocked the football fraternity earlier this year with a surprise move back to boyhood club Manchester United, after spending three years as the star marksman in Turin with Juventus. Switching between two of the toughest European leagues at this age is a decision footballer find themselves averse to. After having conquered England with Manchester United, Spain with Real Madrid, and Italy with Juventus, he is now back to square one – in a bid to lift Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his side from the perils of Premier League’s high-intensity demands – an environment he is well aware of.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar will arguably be Ronaldo’s last chance at redemption on the international stage, after having been ousted relatively easily by top dogs in the previous versions of football’s grandest tournament. The EURO medal was already pocketed half a decade ago, and that chance may come again in 2024, but it is the World Cup that has long eluded the Portuguese. With the team of prodigies Portugal possesses, it is not very hard to imagine what kind of threat they may pose to opponents with Ronaldo leading the line as the team’s most senior player. 

Out of 794 senior goals since scoring his first professional goal on October 7, 2002, the 36-year-old has 115 goals for the national team in 182 caps. And it won’t be surprising to see him continue his record-breaking feats for a few more years.