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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo breaks men's international goalscoring record

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By AP
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his first goal during Wednesday's match.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his first goal during Wednesday's match.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Armando Franca
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Cristiano Ronaldo has become the highest-scoring man in international football history with 111 goals.

The Portugal captain entered Wednesday's World Cup qualifier on 109 goals, level with former Iranian striker Ali Daei.

But Ronaldo moved ahead of Daei when he headed Portugal level in the 89th minute of their match against the Republic of Ireland.

And minutes later, the Portuguese striker scored another header for his 111th goal to secure a 2-1 victory.

36-year-old Ronaldo reached the record-breaking tally in his 180th game for Portugal, after making his international debut in 2003.

In contrast, Daei scored 109 goals for Iran in 149 games between 1993 and 2006. The two men are the only male players to score more than 100 times for their countries.

The international record is held by 38-year-old Canadian striker Christine Sinclair, who scored her 187th international goal en route to winning gold at the Tokyo Olympics last month.

AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, FILE
Ali Daei scored 109 goals in 149 games for Iran between 1993 and 2006.AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian, FILE

Ronaldo, whose only title with Portugal came at UEFA Euro 2016, was the top scorer at this year’s European Championship with five goals.

He also became the first player to score in five different editions of the tournament, overtaking the record set by French striker Michel Platini.

Ronaldo is the top scorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League with 134 goals — 14 more than Lionel Messi.

He might have broken the international scoring record earlier on Wednesday but had a 15th-minute penalty saved.

"I’m very happy, not only because I beat the record but for the special moments that we had," Ronaldo said after the game.

"Two goals at the end of the game is so tough, but I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end."