WORLD CUP 2018

Cristiano becomes Europe's top scoring international

Cristiano becomes Europe's top scoring international

JUAN MABROMATA

AFP

His diving header in this afternoon's Group B meeting with Morocco brought up his 85th goal for Portugal, taking him past the 84 which Ferenc Puskas scored for Hungary.

Cristiano Ronaldo gained himself a new entry in football's history books this afternoon. He opened the scoring after just four minutes in this afternoon's Group B meeting with Morocco - guiding a bullet header past Monir El-Kajoui. It brought up his 85th goal at full international level to take him past legendary Hungary player Ferenc Puskás, whose record has stood for over 60 years. Pancho Puskás, Cañoncito Pum as he was known in Spain, smashed an astounding 84 goals in just 85 appearances for Hungary over a 12-year period from 1945–1956.

Cristiano, 85 goals in 152 appearances

But Cristiano is now the top scoring European player of all-time at full international level and the second player overall. His 85 goals have come in 152 international matches - an average of just under a goal every two games.

He still has a while to go to match Ali Daei, who found the net 109 times for Iran during a 13-year international career which lasted from 1993 to 2006.

Cristiano, goals galore since 2004

Curiously, Cristiano's debut goal for Portugal came almost exactly 14 years ago. He opened his account with a stoppage-time strike against Greece at EURO 2004. Cristiano's tally of 85 goals for Portugal includes six hat tricks - his victims including Spain, Faroe Islands, Andorra, Armenia, Sweden and Northern Ireland.

All-time top goal scorers at full international level

109 - Ali Daei (Iran)

85 - Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

84 - Ferenc Puskás (Hungary)

80* - Kunishige Kamamoto (Japan)

79 - Godfrey Chitalu (Zambia)

77 - Pelé (Brazil)

75 - Bashar Abdullah (Kuwait)

* Kamamoto scored 75 goals at full international level but in 2015 the Japanese Football Association decided that the five goals he scored for Japan in qualifying for the 1968 Olympic Games were valid. FIFA agreed and amended their own statistics in 2015.

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