After netting the only goal to lead Portugal to a 1-0 victory over Morocco, Cristiano Ronaldo has become Europe’s All-Time Leading Scorer in International Competitions.
The only goal of the game, scored off of a skillful header, was Ronaldo’s 85th for Portugal in all competitions. This eclipsed a mark set by Hungary’s Ferenc Puskás who had 84 in all competitions between 1945 and 1962. Ronaldo is having an incredible World Cup Tournament scoring four times, and incidentally scoring all of the goals for Portugal to this point. After a hat-trick in the opening match, the Portuguese striker is on pace to add on to his new record and continue rewriting the history books.
This adds to the accolades Cristiano Ronaldo has received in his illustrious career, begging the question: Is he really the greatest footballer of all time? Some will debate this question with discussions of Maradona, Pélé, Zinedine Zidane or even Ronaldinho, but his greatest competition comes in the form of one Lionel Messi. Messi has gone scoreless in the 2018 World Cup to this point, ending up with zero goals with 15 attempts on net — a stark contrast to Ronaldo’s 4 goals in 2 matches. Messi has struggled in comparison when it comes to international play, but his club and domestic prowess cannot go unnoticed.
— Alimi Ibrahim (@DONHALOGEN) June 21, 2018
Cristiano is seemingly stirring the pot in this debate, with his goal celebration of stroking his chin being called a direct shot at Messi. Here’s the convoluted explanation. Messi posed on the front of Paper Magazine with a real live goat. The inference here is that he is the GOAT as in the Greatest of All Time. As such, Ronaldo has taken offense to the claim, and his celebration of stroking his chin, or goatee, is a direct jab at Messi as Ronaldo continues to shine and Messi continues to struggle internationally.
it is obvious that Portugal is Ronaldo’s team, as seemingly all success flows through him. Could this also be Ronaldo’s tournament? With success and comes scrutiny and in some cases, controversy. A report surfaced yesterday claiming the referee from the Portugal vs. Morocco game asked Cristiano Ronaldo for his match shirt, which FIFA had to officially deny.
— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 21, 2018
“It is with regret and disappointment that, following yesterday’s Group B game between Portugal and Morocco, FIFA has learnt of reports in the media concerning the referee Mark Geiger. It has been claimed that Mr Geiger asked for the shirt of the captain of Portugal during the half-time interval. Mr Geiger strongly refutes those claims and categorically states that such a request was not made. FIFA unequivocally condemns the allegations supposedly made by a member of the Moroccan team. FIFA referees are under clear instructions with regard to their behaviour and relationship with the teams at the World Cup in Russia and it can be confirmed that Mr Geiger has acted in an exemplary and professional manner as an appointed match official. FIFA would like to remind teams of their duty to respect all principles of Fair Play.”
Regardless of the numerous distractions around him, Cristiano Ronaldo has undeniably staked his claim as one of the greatest footballers of all time.