Portugal’s talisman is now ruled out of their next qualifying game after he received a yellow card as a result of his shirtless goal celebration as he broke the international goal-scoring record
Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised to his Portugal teammates after he received a needless yellow card during their 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the first round of World Cup qualifying fixtures.
Ronaldo bagged a late brace, two headers, to turn the tie around after Portugal found themselves behind for much of the second half following Ireland’s 45th minute opener.
His late heroics sealed his place in the history books as the 36-year-old became the all-time leading scorer in men’s international football, overtaking Iranian Ali Daei’s record.
There were fears Ronaldo may have to wait a tad longer to break the record as it had all the makings of ‘one of those nights’ for the Seleção – their skipper seeing his penalty saved by teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
Ronaldo’s celebration for the record-breaking goal has inadvertently handed his new club Manchester United a boost, as the yellow card he received for taking his shirt off has ruled him out of the next qualifying game for his country – ensuring he can meet up with his United teammates sooner than anticipated.
The former Juventus man did apologise for picking up a suspension, explaining after the game how emotions simply got the better of him.
“I forgot. It’s the emotion of the game. Maybe the coach will give me a hard time, but it doesn’t matter. The important thing was to help the team. I’m sorry, but the emotions speak louder.”
However, his boss Fernando Santos was quick to heap praise on his talisman after the full-time whistle.
“Obviously, we are all pleased with his record. There is no Portuguese person who is not pleased to see him as the top scorer of international goals ever.”
Ronaldo later took to Instagram to post an emotional message addressing his latest record, which read: “From all the records that I have broken during my career – and fortunately there have been a few – this one is very special for me and it’s certainly on the shelf of the achievements that make me truly proud.
“First of all, because every time I represent my country is a special moment, for knowing that I’m defending Portugal and showing to the world what Portuguese people are made of.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Man Utd
“Secondly, because national teams competitions have always had a very strong impact on me as I was growing up, watching my idols playing for their flags every other summer in Euros and in World Cups.
“But finally and above all, because scoring 111 goals for Portugal means 111 moments like the ones we experienced today in Algarve, moments of worldwide union and happiness for millions and millions of Portuguese citizens all around the globe. For them, every sacrifice is worth it.
“Another reason for me to appreciate this achievement as much as I do right now, is because Ali Daei has set the standards in such a high level that at some point, even I started thinking that I might never catch him.
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“Congratulations to the ‘Shariar’ for holding the record for so long and thanks for always showing so much respect for me every time I scored and as I became closer and closer to his outstanding number.
“Thank you Portugal. Thanks to all my team-mates and opponents for making this journey so unforgettable. Let’s keep meeting inside the pitch in the years to come. I’m not closing the count just yet…”