Record-breaking Cristiano Ronaldo says Portugal “believed they could win until the end” after his two late goals saw off the Republic of Ireland.
The forward, who returned to Manchester United in a surprise move earlier this week, became the all-time leading scorer in men’s international football, overtaking Iranian Ali Daei’s record.
He nodded home twice in the dying minutes of the World Cup Qualifier at the Estadio Algarve, taking him to 111 goals for Portugal – two ahead of the previous record.
The victory was a late blow for an improved Republic of Ireland, but Ronaldo had faith that Portugal could take all three points.
He said: “I’m so happy, not only because I beat the record, but for the special moments that we had. Two goals at the end of the game, it was so tough but I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end, the supporters too. I’m so glad.”
It looked to be a frustrating evening for the 36-year-old, with Ronaldo having an early penalty saved by 19-year-old Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
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