Are Cristiano Ronaldo’s 99 goals in the international stage are even that glorious in reality? Let’s have an insight over his total goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo waved in joy after he scored a late tap in goal against Luxembourg, which could have been Diogo Jota’s first international goal for Portugal, as the Selecaos played European qualifier.
Ronaldo’s joy was not only limited to the goal but to the thought that he is only one goal away from scoring 100 goals in the international stage and only 10 goals shy from the all-time international scoring record, held by Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran.
But Ronaldo’s tally is even that heroic as it sounds? The Athletic’s Oliver Kay has penned a piece titled: ‘Ronaldo’s 99 goals for Portugal are not a true measure of his greatness’.
Ronaldo has been on a phenomenal goal-scoring record for the national team since Euro 2016. Ronaldo took 12 years to reach 55 goals mark at the international stage but in the last 4 years, he has netted goals around 44 times.
But Kay notes on the quality of teams he has scored against in the process, “For the most apart, though, Ronaldo’s journey on the international stage since Euro 2016, taking him beyond Gerd Muller, Pele and Ferenc Puskas in the all-time goalscoring charts, has not required him to scale such heights.” Kay writes in his article.
Twenty-three of his goals came against Luxembourg, Faroe Islands, New Zealand, Lithuania, Andorra and Latvia. Respectively, those nations are ranked 96th, 110th, 121st, 132nd, 136th and 143rd in the FIFA rankings.
Moreover, out of 99 goals scored by Ronaldo, only seven have come at the World Cup and none have come in the knockout stages of the four World Cups he’s played in.
In 24 games against the eight nations who have won the World Cup – Brazil, Italy, Germany, Uruguay, England, Argentina, France and Spain – the five-time Ballon dOr winner has scored a total of four goals.
“None of this is intended to sound iconoclastic; Ronaldo is a phenomenon whose claims to greatness have long been utterly irrefutable,” Kay adds. Kay adds in his article.
“It is more a case of questioning whether the number of goals he has accumulated against Lithuania, Andorra, Latvia and Faroe Islands et al is even worth considering when it comes to trying to evaluate the precise degree of that greatness.”