6 Records Cristiano Ronaldo Can Still Break at International Level Before Retiring

​He may be approaching his 35th birthday, but the illustrious career of Cristiano Ronaldo is far from finished.

The Portuguese phenomenon struck his 99th goal in international football on Sunday as he ended Luxembourg’s resolve in a tight Euro 2020 qualifying match. That fortuitous 86th-minute effort sealed a 2-0 triumph for the Seleção, with Ronaldo now on the brink of making history.


Ronaldo will become just the second player to hit triple figures at international level when – not if – he next nets for his country. However, that is but one of numerous landmarks he could reach before he hangs up his boots.

Here’s a look at six records ​Ronaldo is on course to break as he nears the end of his playing days for Portugal.


Most Goals at International Level

At the time of Iranian icon Ali Daei’s retirement in 2006, Ronaldo was sitting on a grand total of 12 goals for Portugal, the last of which had come against the very same Asian nation.

Fast forward more than a decade and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is just ten behind the record-holder for most goals in international matches, with his counterpart having netted on 109 occasions.


During the intervening years, Ronaldo has surpassed countless legends of the game. Since he collected his first major honour with Portugal – the 2016 Euros – the veteran has leapfrogged Pelé, Miroslav Klose and Ferenc Puskás in the standings.

The question isn’t whether he will topple Daei, but rather how long it will take to do so.


Most Capped Player

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It will be a spectacular accomplishment when ​Ronaldo becomes the greatest goalscorer in international football, though he does hold an advantage over his closest competitors.

Thanks to his durability and ridiculous athleticism, the former ​Real Madrid man has hardly missed a game for Portugal, leaving him on an incredible 164 caps as things stand.

By the end of 2020, he is likely to be second on the list of most capped players, with Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon among those he is set to overtake next calendar year.

Catching number one Ahmed Hasson – who played 184 games for Egypt between 1995 and 2012 – is a distinct possibility, especially given Ronaldo’s physical condition.


Most World Cups With at Least One Goal

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Only a quartet of players have scored at four different World Cup finals, and Ronaldo is one of them. 

It’s hardly out of the question that he could feature in Qatar three years from now, meaning the Sporting CP academy graduate has a decent chance of becoming the record-holder outright.

Alongside Ronaldo on this exclusive list are Klose, Pelé and Uwe Seeler, all of whom have retired. If he finds the back of the net in the Middle East, no one can stop him entering a league of his own.


Appearing at Five European Championship Finals

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Spanish centurion Iker Casillas was selected for five separate European Championships, yet the shot-stopper only played in three of those tournaments.

No other player has been included in so many squads for the tournament finals, though 17 individuals have appeared in four different editions, with Ronaldo joined by Buffon and Zlatan Ibrahimović on that list, as well as several other household names.

Assuming he is fit for the start of the Euros next summer, the Portugal skipper will be adding another record to his growing collection.


European Championship Finals Top Scorer

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As Ronaldo opened the scoring in his nation’s 2-0 semi final victory over Wales in 2016, he equalled Michel Platini’s tally of goals at European Championship finals.

The Frenchman hit nine during Les Bleus’ march to glory in 1984, with that the only tournament he ever featured in. By contrast, Ronaldo’s played in four already.

At the latest edition of the Euros, he jumped ahead of Ibrahimović, Wayne Rooney and Thierry Henry. It would be a shock if Platini doesn’t join them in bowing before the king.


Most Wins in European Championship Finals

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Midfield duo Cesc Fàbregas and Andrés Iniesta have each won 11 matches at the Euros, but the pair will almost certainly fall behind Ronaldo by the end of next summer.

The latter has taken the same amount of victories, and will surely add to his tally once the tournament begins in June.

Portugal are expected to do well, having secured the title in 2016, while Fernando Santos’ recruits also triumphed in the UEFA Nations League finals a few months ago. It would be stunning if they fail to win any games this time around.


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Emre Can Admits He Is Unhappy at Juventus But Will Continue Fighting for His Place

Emre Can has admitted that he is currently unhappy at Juventus due to his lack of game time, but he’s vowed to work hard and fight for his place in the team.

The former Liverpool midfielder has found minutes hard to come by this term, and has evidently failed to impress new head coach Maurizio Sarri.

The German confessed that things are not going to plan at the moment, but has refused to give up on his stint in Italy without a fight. 

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Speaking to Kicker, ​Can said: “I’m an ambitious guy, and I always want to compete at a top level. I am learning from this difficult moment, that everything won’t always be how I expected it to. I haven’t even started a match and I can’t be happy, but I won’t be beaten.”

The 25-year-old has struggled since leaving the ​Premier League back in June 2018, but he refuses to accept defeat in his battle to earn a place in ​Juventus’ starting XI.

“I will continue to work hard on myself,” he said. “I will go to the gym before or after the training sessions, I’m doing extra sessions to be ready when called upon.”

Emre Can

Emre Can has only featured in four ​Serie A games this season, and has been left out of the Old Lady’s ​Champions League squad altogether. 

His search for game time has not been helped by the summer introductions of Adrien Rabiot and ​Aaron Ramsey, who have been used more frequently than the German this campaign.

Can’s lack of involvement at Juventus has seen him linked with an exit from Turin, with a potential return to the ​Bundesliga on the cards. When asked specifically about moving back to the German top tier, he merely said: “Anything can happen in football.”

Despite struggling at club level, Can was named in Germany’s squad for their final international games of the Euro 2020 qualification campaign, but missed out on their 4-0 victory over Belarus due to suspension.

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Juventus & Inter Join Race for Chris Smalling After Impressive Start With Roma

​Juventus and Inter have joined the race to sign Manchester United centre back Chris Smalling, who has enjoyed a surprisingly strong start to life on loan with Roma.

The 29-year-old swapped Manchester for Rome during the summer as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the United hierarchy looked to refresh and rejuvenate their backline.

Despite being deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, Smalling – somewhat surprisingly – has been one of the Serie A’s standout performers so far in 2019/20, prompting Roma to push for a permanent deal.

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However, according to Corriere della Sera (via ​Tutto Mercato Web), Roma will face pressure to complete the deal from both Juventus and Inter, who are ready to pounce if Roma cannot agree a deal with ​United.

The Red Devils are ​looking for a fee of around €18m (£15m), but Roma are reluctant to meet those demands. Having already paid €3m to secure the loan deal itself, Roma only want to offer €15m to complete a permanent deal.

If United are not prepared to accept such a deal, then ​Juventus and ​Inter could look to take advantage. The two sides have been scouring the ​Serie A for potential transfer targets, and both are said to have been impressed by what they have seen from Smalling.


For Juventus, a move for Smalling does make some sense. The pairing of Leonardo Bonucci and Matthijs de Ligt have been hugely impressive for Maurizio Sarri’s side, but there are questions over the future of the remaining centre backs in the squad.

Both Daniele Rugani and Merih Demiral have both been linked with moves elsewhere, while there are doubts over how 35-year-old Giorgio Chiellini will fare once he returns from his cruciate ligament tear.

If they are looking for a reliable rotation option, they could certainly do worse than Smalling, who so far has proven to be a solid defender in the Serie A.

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The same can be said for Inter, who could find themselves on the lookout for new centre-backs in the near future. ​Milan Škriniar is wanted by Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Diego Godín will soon turn 34 years old.

The two sides will likely continue to monitor Smalling over the coming months to decide whether he has moved on from the inconsistent form which plagued his time with United. If they like what they see, a move could certainly be a possibility.

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Barcelona Reject €15m Bid for Ivan Rakitic From a Premier League Club

​Barcelona have rejected a bid from an unnamed Premier League club for the services of midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

The Croatian international is currently unhappy with his lack of involvement at Camp Nou having started only one La Liga and Champions League game all season under Ernesto Valverde.

With strong rumours linking the 31-year-old away from Barcelona, it appears Rakitic’s days are numbered, and according to ​SPORT, a Premier League club has seen their €15m (£12.8m) bid rejected.

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However, with ​Barcelona needing to raise €124m to balance their books before the end of June, the rejected bid is less than the €35m the Catalan side want for ​Rakitic

Valverde has favoured Sergio Busquets, Arthur, Frenkie De Jong and Arturo Vidal in the centre of the park this term, with Rakitic being continually sidelined and describing himself as ‘sad’ with his current situation earlier this week. 

Rakitic has been repeatedly linked with a move to Italy, with ​Juventus and ​Inter vying over his signature – the latter believed to be Rakitic’s preferred choice. The Croat has shown little desire to play in the ​Premier League and appears to have his heart set on ​Serie A.

However, the Old Lady are only prepared to make a loan offer for Rakitic unless they are able to get rid of a central-midfielder in January. Blaise Matuidi is the most likely to leave Turin, with his contract set to expire in the summer, meaning Juve may be tempted to cash in on the Frenchman.

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Barcelona have had a difficult start to the term, with performances and results underwhelming supporters. Ernesto Valverde finds himself under huge pressure, but his role at the club is deemed to be safe for the foreseeable future.

The Barca manager needs to raise funds and the future of a number of individuals, including the likes of Carles Alena and Riqui Puig, are uncertain. 

Rakitic joined Barcelona from Sevilla back in 2014, and a move would see the midfielder depart after approximately five years of service. 

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Cristiano Ronaldo Speaks Out on Recent Juventus Substitutions Amid Fitness Confusion

Cristiano Ronaldo has backed Maurizio Sarri’s decision to substitute him in successive Juventus matches, saying that while he ‘doesn’t like’ being withdrawn, niggling injury issues have stopped him being able to complete games. T

The Portugal forward has netted six goals in 14 appearances for ​Juve this season, but appeared aggravated at Sarri’s decision to withdraw him with ten minutes remaining against Lokomotiv Moscow in the ​Champions League last Wednesday – and then again just ten minutes into the second half against AC Milan at the weekend. 

Juve won both matches with goals that came about after Ronaldo’s withdrawal, while there has been speculation over whether the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s substitution was enforced or purely tactical.

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Ronaldo was included in Portugal’s squad for the international break, with the player himself ​insisting he is fully fit.

However, after scoring in Portugal’s final Euro 2020 qualifier against Luxembourg, the forward appeared to backtrack on his earlier comments, adding that his withdrawals for Juventus were necessary.

“In the last three weeks, I have been playing despite not being fully fit,” Ronaldo told the media after  as quoted by ​Forza Italian Football

“I don’t like to be substituted, but I have been playing despite not being fully fit and I tried to help Juventus. I understand the substitutions, as I wasn’t 100 percent. 

“In these two games with Portugal I wasn’t at 100 percent either. But I am very proud to sacrifice myself for the national team or for my club.

“In my career, I never had serious injuries, as I usually do between 50 and 60 games [per season], but I am having some discomfort that prevents me from being at 100 percent.”

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Having concluded his country’s qualifying campaign with his 99th international goal, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star will have a week to rest before he finds himself back in the thick of it against Atalanta in Serie A. 

That’s swiftly followed by a key Champions League tie, as Juve take on Atlético Madrid looking to win Group D. 


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!

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