One of the greatest footballers of his generation, talismanic Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has smashed all kinds of records over the course of his flamboyant career. With 85 international goals in 152 appearances for Portugal, CR7 is not only his country’s top-scorer of all time but has also moved ahead of Hungarian Ferenc Puskas to become Europe’s all time highest scorer.
With Portugal on their toes ahead of their final 2018 Fifa World Cup Group B match against Iran, let us take a look at Ronaldo’s five best goals in Portuguese colours.
1. Portugal v Spain, Group Stage, 2018 Fifa World Cup
Portugal made a flying start to their World Cup campaign against Spain as the game ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw, all thanks to Ronaldo’s scintillating hat-trick. With the clock ticking into the 88th minute, Portugal earned a free kick just 25 yards away from goal. Ronaldo stood over the ball with his shorts rolled up to display the rippling muscles of his thighs. He then fired the ball into the top corner past Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea. The Madeira lad in the process registered his 51st hat-trick.
2. Portugal v Hungary, Group Stage, Uefa Euro 2016
Portugal were in great danger of a shock exit from the Euros as Hungary took the lead in their final group stage game in Lyon. CR7 failed to find the target in the first two games, despite attempting 20 shots at goal. But when it really mattered, the stylish footballer took charge, finishing with an assist and two equalisers as the match ended 3-3, thus ensuring Portugal’s progression to the last 16. His first goal was the pick of the bunch. A neat backheel flick from Joao Mario's cross, the Real Madrid superstar became the first player to score in four different European Championship finals.
3. Portugal v Sweden, 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifier
Portugal were heavily dependent on the former Manchester United man when they took on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Sweden for a berth in the Brazil World Cup. Ronaldo scored the solitary goal in the first leg in Lisbon, then added another early in the second half of the return leg in Stockholm, only for Ibrahimovic to score twice in four minutes and put Sweden on the brink of the finals in Brazil. That just added to the challenge, though, and Ronaldo provided a quick-fire double of his own to ensure it was his country which qualified. All three strikes were excellent, but the third stands out as he calmly controlled Joao Moutinho's precise pass, rounded goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson and slammed the ball home from a tight angle. It was also his 47th for his country - tying the Portugal national record he would soon have all on his own.
4. Portugal v Faroe Islands, 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualifier
CR7 found a teammate’s cross at just the right time and fired home a cracking bicycle kick in a Russia World Cup Qualifier against Faroe Islands. Without a shadow of a doubt, this will continue to be one of the greatest ever Ronaldo strikes.
5. Portugal v Wales, Semi Final, Uefa Euro 2016
The first half of the game was tight and goalless, with neither team having any clear-cut chances. But, Ronaldo brought the game to life, powering in a header after the ball was crossed in from the left-hand side. The Welsh defence were handling him well right up until that moment, showing that he needs just one opportunity and he will grab it with both hands.