The 29-year-old surpassed yet another statistic on Friday night and admitted after the match that doing it in front of his nation’s supporters made his night
Cristiano Ronaldo became the highest goalscorer in European Championship qualification history after scoring a late winner in Portugal’s 1-0 win over Albania and then revealed how touched he was at breaking yet another record.
The Seleccao looked to be heading for an embarrassing draw after being frustrated for much of the 90 minutes, but their captain and talisman came to the rescue yet again with a scrappy finish on 72 minutes to move his nation into second place in Group I behind Denmark.
In scoring that goal, Ronaldo moved on to 23 European Championship goals, one more than former Danish international John Dahl Tomasson (22), and he said the the occasion rather than the record itself was most satisfying.
He said: “The record? It’s just another one. I knew it would come sooner or later. I still have a lot of games to play. I’m happy, mainly because I broke the record in front of our fans. It’s a special moment.”
The 29-year-old has now scored 25 goals in all competitions for club and country and his efforts drew the praise of Portgual boss Fernando Santos, who said he took personal pleasure in seeing his main man shine.
“What is the significance of the record of Cristiano Ronaldo? It has a great significance for him, for the team, for the country, and of course for me as the manager.”