Cristiano Ronaldo continued his World Cup 2018 scoring streak with an early header against Morocco, to become Europe’s all-time top scorer with 85 international goals.
After scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s remarkable 3-3 draw against Spain in the second Group B match last Friday, Ronaldo matched Ferenc Puskás’s record as Europe’s all-time leading international marksman.
Puskás scored 84 international goals for Hungary between 1945-1956.
But it took Ronaldo less than five minutes of the Morocco match to finally surpass his tally. He powered home a header as his side raced into an early lead, confirming his place in the record books.
Ronaldo’s tally is only surpassed by Iran’s Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals in 149 appearances.
Ronaldo’s goal against Morocco took him back to the top of the World Cup 2018 goalscoring charts, with four goals from his opening two matches.
His record-breaking goal lifts him back above Russia’s Denis Cheryshev, who scored twice in the opening match against Saudi Arabia before getting on the scoresheet against Egypt in last night’s match.
Meanwhile the finish sees Ronaldo become the first player since Jose Torres in 1966 to score a goal with his right foot, left foot and head in a single World Cup campaign.
Ronaldo’s 85 goal-haul includes five hat-tricks and one match in which he hit four goals. He has scored 14 braces with the remaining 38 goals coming in separate matches.
Thirty-nine of Ronaldo’s goals have come at home, 30 away and 16 at major international tournaments.
Ronaldo has also obliterated his middling scoring record at previous World Cups.
In 2006, 2010 and 2014 Ronaldo managed just one goal at each tournament, compared to the four in two he has already chalked up in Russia.
Europe’s all-time top international goalscorers
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 85 goals in 152 appearances
Ferenc Puskás (Hungary & Spain) – 84 goals in 89
Sándor Kocsis (Hungary) – 75 in 6
Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 71 in 13
Gerd Müller (West Germany) – 68 in 6
Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) – 68 in 14
Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden) – 62 in 11
Imre Schlosser (Hungary) – 59 in 6
David Villa (Spain) – 59 in 9
Jan Koller (Czech Republic) – 55 in 91