Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal won't adapt play to help Ronaldo claim goalscoring record

Fernando Santos insists his players won't be actively looking to find Ronaldo more to help him tally up the goals

11:41am on Tuesday 17th November 2020
Martin Macdonald

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos insists his team will not alter how they play in forward areas to find Cristiano Ronaldo more frequently as the Juventus star aims to become the greatest goalscorer in international football history.

Ronaldo is currently on 102 international goals for Portugal, second on the all-time list of scorers for their respective countries, with Ali Daei of Iran currently top with 109 goals.


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It is likely that CR7 will surpass the record at some point as he still captains the national side and features in every game for club and country if he is fit.

Top 10 international scorers of all time

International football’s leading scorers

1Ali DaeiIran149109
2Cristiano RonaldoPortugal168102
3Mokhtar DahariMalaysia13186
4Ferenc PuscasHungary8584
5Godfrey ChitaluZambia11179
6Hussein SaeedIraq13778
=8Kunishige KamamotoJapan7675
=8Bashar AbdullahKuwait13475
=10Sunil ChhetriIndia11572
=10Majed AbdullahKuwait11772

Even though Portugal would naturally be delighted if Ronaldo achieved the feat, they won't sacrifice players in a better position to score just to set up the Juventus superstar.

"No, certainly not, nobody will be thinking about Cristiano," Santos said when asked if Portugal will go out of their way to help Ronaldo.

"They [other players] will not be thinking about not scoring in order to give the chance to someone else. Even Cristiano wouldn't want that to happen. Cristiano will score when he has to score. They [other players] will not be thinking about that."

Even at the age of 35, Ronaldo remains a goalscoring machine.

Since joining Juventus he scored 21 league goals in 30 starts in 2018/19, 31 goals in 33 starts in 2019/20, while so far in 2020/21 he has scored six goals in just three starts in Serie A.

He'll have the opportunity to get closer to Daei this midweek when Portugal take on Croatia in the Nations League.

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