There is no doubting the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo is a freak when it comes to his goal scoring efforts for both club and country, the 33 year old who has scored 311 La Liga goals for Real Madrid in just 292 matches has won a number of accolades both for his employers and him personally.

But over the next few weeks the focus will shift to international matters as he gets ready to lead Portugal into this Summer’s FIFA World Cup. The Portuguese are no strangers to Russia after playing here 12 months ago in the FIFA Confederations Cup.

That appearance was due to Portugal’s win in the 2016 European Championships and although Cristiano Ronaldo picked up a medal for winning the tournament his contribution in the final was not at the level the former Manchester United forward would have wanted after leaving the pitch through injury.

Still that said he has still one more international trophy win under his belt then that of his arch rival Lionel Messi and although Portugal may be a long shot to win outright in Russia, Cristiano Ronaldo could well scoop up another personal accolade.

He is currently on 81 international goals and needs just three to equal the record of 84 that was set by Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas between 1945 and 1962 although it must also be noted that he played for the Spanish national team on four occasions.

84 goals by any player is an impressive enough tally but for Puskas it was even more incredible due to the fact that he needed just 85 games in which to do so, nearly a goal a game at international level is simply staggering no matter what era of the game it was played in.

With Cristiano Ronaldo currently on 81 goals from 150 international caps his goals to game ratio sits at 0.54, so just over a goal every other game. Any critics of that return can at least point to the fact that modern day defences are a lot more disciplined compared to back when Puskas was scoring for fun.

The question now remains as to whether Cristiano Ronaldo can surpass Puskas by the end of the World Cup, you would have to assume that he will score at least four more goals for Portugal,  but just how soon can he become the highest European international goal scorer.

As and when that accolade is earned then the Real Madrid legend will become the second highest international goalscorer of all time behind Iran’s Ali Daei. Although he will have quite the task on his hands as the Iranian forward retired with a goal haul of no fewer than 109 goals in 149 international fixtures. A ratio of 0.73 goals per game.

So it is fair to say that Ali Daei may well be out of reach but Puskas is certainly in touching distance, perhaps one interesting question will be to ask if Cristiano Ronaldo can at least get to 100 international goals before he brings an end to such a glittering career.

If we look at the goal scoring data to date here is the breakdown of all the 81 goals he has scored for Portugal

 Opponent  Goals %
 Latvia 5 6.17%
 Armenia 5 6.17%
 Sweden 5 6.17%
 Andorra 5 6.17%
 Netherlands 4 4.94%
 Estonia 4 4.94%
 Hungary 4 4.94%
 Faroe Islands 4 4.94%
 Russia 3 3.70%
 Luxembourg 3 3.70%
 Belgium 3 3.70%
 Denmark 3 3.70%
 Northern Ireland 3 3.70%
 Saudi Arabia 2 2.47%
 Azerbaijan 2 2.47%
 Kazakhstan 2 2.47%
 Czech Republic 2 2.47%
 Cyprus 2 2.47%
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 2.47%
 Cameroon 2 2.47%
 Egypt 2 2.47%
 Greece 1 1.23%
 Slovakia 1 1.23%
 Iran 1 1.23%
 Poland 1 1.23%
 Finland 1 1.23%
 North Korea 1 1.23%
 Iceland 1 1.23%
 Argentina 1 1.23%
 Panama 1 1.23%
 Ecuador 1 1.23%
 Croatia 1 1.23%
 Ghana 1 1.23%
 Wales 1 1.23%
 New Zealand 1 1.23%
 Total 81

Four nations have felt the five-star brunt of Cristiano Ronaldo, with Latvia, Armenia, Sweden and Andorra conceding the most goals to the Portuguese icon. Whether you feel he is flat track bully in terms of international football is a point that is up for debate but as always you can only score against what is point in front you.

If Cristiano Ronaldo is to at least get to 100 international goals then by his current goal ratio he would have to play 208 times for his country, that is perhaps a little a bit of a stretch so the other way to get there is to increase the pace of his goal collection.

The move past Puskas will be a case of when and not if, the race to 100 might just be the one that eludes him. That said never say never when Cristiano Ronaldo is involved.

 

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