Cristiano Ronaldo can become the outright record goalscorer in international football on Sunday evening.Portugal take on Belgium in their Euro 2020 last-16 clash.
While Ronaldo’s priority will be getting his nation through to the quarter-finals, he wouldn’t complain if he broke Ali Daei’s record in the process.
The Iranian had scored 109 goals for his country – a record Ronaldo equalled with a pair of penalties against France earlier in the week.
Thibaut Courtois in the Belgium goal has a very tough task to prevent Ronaldo from adding to his international tally in Sevilla.
However, the tactics the goalkeeper will employ to stop Ronaldo are likely to be a lot fairer than the tactics one former Belgian shot-stopper intended to use.
Back in 2007, Belgium faced Portugal in Lisbon in a Euro 2008 qualifier.
Belgian’s No.1 at the time was Stijn Stijnen, who wanted to stop 22-year-old Ronaldo by foul means.
Ahead of the match, Stijnen outrageously said: “After two minutes we have to hunt Cristiano Ronaldo so that he cannot continue playing and leaves the field on a stretcher. I do not ask my teammates to break his legs, but we must play with character and enter the shin.”
Portugal reported the comments to UEFA, who fined Stijnen €4,500 for making “inappropriate statements.”
So, what happened in the match? Did Belgium injure Ronaldo?
Ronaldo, obviously, scored twice during a 4-0 win.
Video: Ronaldo scores twice against Belgium
Luiz Felipe Scolari substituted Ronaldo in the 78th-minute before he could grab the first hat-trick of his career.
Ronaldo was seen chatting to Stijnen after the match before saying: “Stijnen offered his excuses and I have accepted those.
“For me, there is absolutely no problem any more. Such things happen in football – I make no drama out of it. Much more important is that we have won this game.”
Just a reminder that there’s no easy way to take Ronaldo out of the game. He will overcome anything.