Cristiano Ronaldo broke several more international records on Tuesday as he was once again the talisman for Portugal.
His selection for his nation ensured he became the first player to represent his nation at five different European Championships.
With his side leading 1-0 over Hungary going into the closing stages of their Euro 2020 opener, Ronaldo then netted his nation’s second from the penalty spot before adding a wonderful third late on after link-up play with Rafa Silva.
His first goal ensured he became the tournament’s all-time record goal scorer with 10 to his name, one clear of Michel Platini, before adding his 11 th , in what was his 12 th victory at the tournament – another individual record.
Those were also Ronaldo’s 105 th and 106 th goals at international level for Portugal – just three goals shy of the all-time international record, held by former Iran striker Ali Daei.
Gary Neville, who was working on the game as a pundit on ITV Sport and is a former teammate of the Portuguese star at Manchester United, said of Ronaldo: “It’s an obscene record. I mean, 106 goals for his country is absolutely ridiculous. He just continues to beat individual record after individual record.
“I said before the game, when players give interviews quite often they refer to the team.
“He does refer to the team always, but he also wants to be the best player in the world and seen as one of the greatest of all time in terms of scoring more goals than anyone. And he’ll go and do it.”
Gary Lineker added of the forward: “Ronaldo scores from the spot in his 5th Euros and becomes the first man to score 10 goals in the history of this competition. Extraordinary.
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“Sensational football from Portugal and the ridiculous Cristiano finishes with his customary brilliance. Make that 11 goals in the Euros.”
Rio Ferdinand – another former club teammate of Ronaldo at United – took to Twitter to write: “Viva Ronaldoooooooooo. Add another goal to that record!!! Wow this guy man… Relentless.”
Piers Morgan, who interviewed the superstar several years ago, wrote on social media: “BREAKING: Cristiano becomes highest goal scorer in history of European Championships. Another record smashed. Another reason he’s the GOAT.
“WOW!!! Ronaldo scores again with a goal of wondrous quality. What a player. He’s 36!”
Ronaldo’s goals helped Portugal secure a 3-0 victory over Hungary in Budapest – a potentially tricky opening day fixture for the competition holders.
Portugal won their first ever major international tournament at the last European Championships, when they edged out France 1-0 in the final.
Three years later, a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal went on to lift the inaugural Nations League trophy to continue their run of dominance on a European stage.
However, they have been paired with world champions France and previous world champions Germany in Group F – in what is widely being labelled as the ‘Group of Death’.