When Cristiano Ronaldo is at his free-flowing best, there is simply no stopping him in front of goal – something Lithuania found out the hard way on Tuesday night when the star attacker bagged four goals in a 5-1 win for Portugal.
The haul on Tuesday saw him add another record to his his list.
With 25 goals scored, he has now become the all-time leading goalscorer in European Championship qualifiers.
“This is the clear and irrevocable proof that he is the best player in the world,” Portugal coach Fernando Santos claimed post-match.
Bringing up his eighth international hat-trick in the process, Ronaldo also increased his tally of goals for his nation to 93 to leave him within touching distance of a record many thought would never be broken.
Iranian striker Ali Daei, who won a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in 1999, scored a remarkable 109 goals across 149 games for his country and that feat has long left him with the most international goals scored by a single player.
Ronaldo, however, is now hot on Daei’s heels and it’s hard to see the Juventus star not claiming a record that would literally make him the greatest scorer of all time – on the international stage at least.
Against Lithuania on Tuesday, the 34-year-old proved his age is a hurdle he’ll be capable of leaping over for a few years to come as he effortlessly found the back of the net four times.