Football news: Cristiano Ronaldo breaks record for most nations scored against

After hitting four against Lithuania, Cristiano Ronaldo has scored against 40 different teams for Portugal… and he has more international goals than any other European player ever (but he still hasn’t scored in a final!)

  • Cristiano Ronaldo hit four goals against Lithuania on Tuesday evening 
  • They are the 40th different country that the forward has scored against 
  • He has hit 93 goals for Portugal, the most of any player for any European nation
  • Only Iran’s Ali Daei (109) having ever managed more international goals 

Lithuania, meet Cristiano Ronaldo. They had never been subjected to a goalscoring display from the Portuguese forward until Tuesday night — and it is not one they are going to forget any time soon.

Sure, he opened the scoring from the spot after seven minutes but it was the quarter of an hour spell in the second-half between the 61st and 76th minute that demonstrated his ruthlessness.

That was when, in response to an equaliser from Vytautas Andriuskevicius, he hit three goals in 15 minutes to ensure the European champions would take the win.

Cristiano Ronaldo hit four goals in Portugal’s 5-1 win against Lithuania on Tuesday night

His strikes mean he has now hit goals against 40 different countries for Portugal in his career

His strikes mean he has now hit goals against 40 different countries for Portugal in his career

His strikes mean he has now hit goals against 40 different countries for Portugal in his career

The major Portuguese sports papers both led with Ronaldo's goals on Tuesday night

The major Portuguese sports papers both led with Ronaldo's goals on Tuesday night

O Jogo followed A Bola's lead

O Jogo followed A Bola's lead

The major Portuguese sports papers both led with Ronaldo’s goals on Tuesday night

The 40 nations that Ronaldo has scored against while playing internationals for Portugal

The 40 nations that Ronaldo has scored against while playing internationals for Portugal

The 40 nations that Ronaldo has scored against while playing internationals for Portugal

The first of that trio was lucky, with the ball bobbling off the Lithuania goalkeeper’s head before going in. The second was a poacher’s effort, Ronaldo dashing into space to knock in Bernardo Silva’s cross from yards out.

Silva also had a hand to play in his fourth, the City man driving into space before teeing Ronaldo up on the edge of the box. Ronaldo curled a lovely strike into the bottom corner after the pass.

But Lithuania are not the first team to be subjected to a Ronaldo demolition and they almost certainly will not be the last. He has now hit goals against 40 different teams for Portugal, more than any other player on the international stage.

The clash on Tuesday was the second time he has managed to hit four in one international game — the other being in a win against Andorra in October 2016.

It is the second time Ronaldo has scored four for Portugal — the other coming against Andorra

It is the second time Ronaldo has scored four for Portugal — the other coming against Andorra

It is the second time Ronaldo has scored four for Portugal — the other coming against Andorra

He has also managed to hit six hat-tricks during his playing career for Portugal, against Northern Ireland, Sweden, Armenia, the Faroe Islands, Spain and Switzerland.

The latter two came in the last year and a half, at the World Cup and during the Nations League respectively.

Ronaldo also has preferred opponents. Armenia, Sweden, Latvia and Andorra have each conceded five in games against the Madeira-born forward.

Lithuania joined a list of teams who have conceded four across their matches with Ronaldo in the past, along with Holland, Estonia, Hungary and the Faroe Islands.

Ronaldo has hit six hat-tricks for Portugal during his career, including one at the last World Cup

Ronaldo has hit six hat-tricks for Portugal during his career, including one at the last World Cup

Ronaldo has hit six hat-tricks for Portugal during his career, including one at the last World Cup

Ronaldo also struck a trio of goals against Switzerland in the semi-finals of the Nations League

Ronaldo also struck a trio of goals against Switzerland in the semi-finals of the Nations League

Ronaldo also struck a trio of goals against Switzerland in the semi-finals of the Nations League

Greece were the first team to concede to Ronaldo, with his strike coming at Euro 2004, although the eventual winners of the tournament also emerged victorious in that clash. 

Ronaldo has hit the majority of his goals in qualification for World Cup finals, with 30 in 38 appearances, while he has also struck 25 in his 31 Euro qualifiers.

His four goals on Tuesday saw him overtake Robbie Keane — who hit 23 in his career — as the top scorer in Euro qualifier history.

The 34-year-old has also hit seven in 17 appearances at the World Cup and nine in 21 at European Championship finals.

The first goal that he scored on the international stage came against Greece at Euro 2004

The first goal that he scored on the international stage came against Greece at Euro 2004

The first goal that he scored on the international stage came against Greece at Euro 2004

But he has never scored in a major tournament final. While he bagged in the semi-final at Euro 2016 against Wales, he went off injured in the final.

And despite hitting a hat-trick against Switzerland at the Nations League in the summer, he drew a blank against in the final against Holland. Portugal won that too.

On the plus side, Ronaldo has participated at 10 different major tournaments and scored at all of them. 

In total, he has hit 93 goals for Portugal in 160 appearances. That means he has scored more than any other player for a European nation. Only Iran’s Ali Daei (109) having ever managed more international goals.

Ronaldo has never scored at a tournament final, although he did score in the semi at Euro 2016

Ronaldo has never scored at a tournament final, although he did score in the semi at Euro 2016

Ronaldo has never scored at a tournament final, although he did score in the semi at Euro 2016

Of those 93 strikes, 50 have been with his preferred right foot, 18 with his left and 25 with his ever-powerful head.

Ronaldo was clearly delighted with his contribution on Tuesday, saying: ‘I’m having a good time, but the team was doing very well too.

‘I am happy and enjoying this moment, not because I scored the goals, but because of the level we have been able to demonstrate in recent years.

‘It is up to me to continue helping the national team.’ 

NATIONS RONALDO HAS SCORED AGAINST FOR PORTUGAL

Serbia, Bosnia, New Zealand, Spain, Belgium, Russia, Kazakhstan, Wales, Latvia, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Greece, Sweden, Argentina, Poland, Czech Republic, Panama, Iran, Finland, Croatia, Ghana, Morocco, Ecuador, Iceland, Saudi Arabia, Andorra, Luxembourg, Egypt, Hungary, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Estonia, Switzerland, Cameroon, Faroe Islands, Armenia, Slovakia, N Korea, Lithuania


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