Cristiano Ronaldo became the second man to score 100 international goals, hitting the landmark for Portugal in Tuesday’s UEFA Nations League match vs. Sweden.
Ronaldo joins Iran’s Ali Daei in the rarefied air after connecting on a gorgeous free-kick just before halftime to give Portugal a 1-0 lead. Daei’s men’s international record of 109 goals is the next target for Ronaldo, who missed Portugal’s 4-1 win over Croatia on Saturday with a reported toe ailment. He returned for his 165th cap days later and promptly hit the milestone.
What’s perhaps most impressive about Ronaldo’s tally is that only 17 of his 100 goals have come in friendlies, though he has certainly beaten up on the European minnows along the way. Seven of his goals have come vs. Lithuania, and six have now come vs. Sweden, while he’s scored five apiece against Andorra, Armenia, Latvia and Luxembourg. Digging further into his century-mark of goals, he has six international hat tricks, 30 goals in World Cup qualifying and 31 in European Championship qualifying. He’s delivered seven goals on the World Cup stage and another nine at the Euros in his career.
Ronaldo is by far and away the active leader in international goals in men’s soccer. India’s Sunil Chhetri (72) and Argentina’s Lionel Messi (70) are the next closest. On the women’s side, 17 players have hit the 100-goal mark, with seven of them Americans. Canada’s Christine Sinclair is the all-time leader with 186 goals, two more than USA’s retired forward Abby Wambach.