It was another record-breaking evening for Cristiano Ronaldo, despite Robbie Keane’s greatest efforts to keep him off course. The Juventus forward netted four goals as Portugal defeated Lithuania to bring its general European qualification total to 25–two more than the prior record held by former Ireland midfielder Keane.
Before the game, after pointing out that the five-time Ballon d’Or champion was two goals off of the record, Keane told Ronaldo to “drop this one.” But there was no preventing Ronaldo from netting his eighth global hat trick and entering the limelight after playing against his 150th team for club and nation. Ronaldo has now achieved 93 global goals in total, 16 behind the world record for men’s football by Iran legend Ali Daei and is also the first European to reach 90 goals for his country. The 34-year-old is the European Championship’s top player.
He has netted a total of 34 goals -including nine in major competitions, which is also a joint record with Michel Platini from France. These goals were achieved in four consecutive competitions — 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 — with one in the semi-final win over Wales during Portugal’s three-year title-winning reign. No other European produced more goals in a competitive global setting, with Ronaldo scoring 72, including the first goal and a hat-trick in the Nations League Finals when he placed three past Switzerland in June’s last four. And his 30-goal count in qualifying for the European World Cup is another record.
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