Cristiano Ronaldo’s mother sobbed hysterically after her son scored 117 goals for Portugal in his childhood stadium.
The 37-year-old scored twice in quick succession in his team’s 4-0 Nations League triumph over Switzerland. Ronaldo, who had started on the bench in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Spain, gave Portugal the lead with 15 minutes remaining by thumping a free-kick towards the goal and allowing William Carvalho to tap in the rebound.
The Manchester United superstar then got himself on the scoresheet, scoring twice in four minutes on first-time goals set up by Liverpool’s Diogo Jota.
Ronaldo celebrated by pointing to the skies, just as he did when he scored his first goal for United following the tragic death of his young son in April. His mother, Maria Dolores, was seen in the stands crying tears of delight while wearing a Portugal shirt.
The fact that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner performed his exploits at Sporting Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade added to the drama. Ronaldo spent six years as a youth with the Portuguese giants before joining Manchester United at the age of 18 in 2003.
That summer, United played Sporting in a friendly to mark the opening of the Estadio Jose Alvalade, and it was the iconic game in which Sir Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering club was trounced 3-1 and stunned by a cunning young winger in green and white. Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football, with eight more than Iran legend Ali Daei.
Former Real Madrid and Juventus talisman Cristiano Ronaldo are accustomed to such accolades, recently claiming that “records follow me.” Ronaldo stated on an episode of Manchester United’s Player Diaries, “The records, they’re coming in a natural way.” “I don’t maintain records, but the records keep track of me.” Thus far, so good.
“It’s still what keeps me going.” Simply putting in the effort. The game’s excitement continues to captivate me. And, of course, Manchester and my teammates were there for me every step of the way, so I’m grateful to all of Cristiano’s fans.” But, for me, the most important thing is to win games and try to win a title or a cup, and I believe Manchester will reclaim their due place. It may take some time, but I remain hopeful.”
Portugal, which won the first Nations League three years ago, now leads Group A2 after a thumping victory on Sunday. In Group H of the World Cup in Qatar later this year, Fernando Santos’ team will face Ghana, Uruguay, and South Korea, and Ronaldo will be eager to continue his goal-scoring record.
Cristiano Ronaldo with a brace as Portugal batter Switzerland in the first half pic.twitter.com/QN6qK07BZk
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) June 5, 2022