Portuguese captain Ronaldo breaks record at World Cup

The 33-year-old captain of the Portuguese team is celebrating numerous impressive stats at the World Cup, including becoming the most goals scored in international play by a European footballer.


Three years ago, he was named the best Portuguese player of all time by his country’s professional soccer federation. He’s earned four “Golden Boots”— awards given to the top European goal scorer every season— and seems well on his way to a fifth. And now, he’s enjoying the title of all-time leading European goalscorer in international competition, after a header against Morocco Wednesday morning, CBS Sports reports.

The 85-score record follows a hat-trick Ronaldo pulled Friday against Spain, which was Ronaldo’s 51st career hat-trick and only the 51st in World Cup history, according to EPSN. At 33, he is the oldest player ever to do so at the World Cup. 

Need more? Since the first World Cup in 1930, the tournament has had more than 1,150 matches played by thousands of players. The average goals per match— of both teams combined— has been less than three goals since 1974, according to FIFA

Fans rushed to social media to give additional context to the historic day for the Portuguese team’s captain:

While Ronaldo is Europe’s top scorer, there is still one player on the planet who has him beat: Iranian Ali Daei. Daei is the only World Cup player to break the 100 goal mark, resting at 102 international scores in a qualifying match against Laos in 2004, putting Ronaldo 17 points behind the retired record holder.

Ronaldo leads Portugal into their next match on Monday against Iran, the runner up to Portugal in Group B.

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