Cristiano Ronaldo and Ali Daei exchanged messages with each other after CR7 surpassed the latter as the all-time top international goalscorer.
Ali Daei’s 17-year reign as the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football ended on Wednesday as Cristiano Ronaldo surpassed his 109 goal haul.
Ronaldo did so in style by saving his best for last in a World Cup qualifier against Ireland. He fired in two late headers to seal a dramatic 2-1 comeback win. Not only did it seal Portugal all three points, but it also took his international tally up to 111 goals in 180 appearances.
Now Ali Daei, who took the international scoring record from Ferenc Puskas in 2004, has taken to Instagram to congratulate the man who surpassed him.
“Your humility and kindness make you an even greater champion, Cristiano. Long may your record last!” the Iran legend wrote.
Ronaldo’s tribute to Ali Daei
Shortly after becoming the all-time leading goalscorer, Ronaldo took to Instagram himself. He wrote a long message to express his pride in representing Portugal and to thank his teammates and opponents for the ‘unforgettable’ journey.
In the message, the 36-year-old also paid a classy tribute to Ali Daei.
He wrote: “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.
“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.
What next for CR7?
Ronaldo, who also equaled Sergio Ramos’ record for the most European caps won, is suspended for Portugal’s next game. Therefore, he has withdrawn from international duty.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner now heads to England for his Manchester United return. He will reportedly spend five days in isolation as part of the UK’s COVID-19 protocols. Once that is over, he will visit the club’s training base in Carrington to link up with his new squad.
Ronaldo could make his second United debut against Newcastle at Old Trafford on September 11 in a Premier League match.