Cristiano Ronaldo hits back at critics with pointed remark after 100th goal for Portugal
UEFA Nations League – League A – Group 3 – Sweden v Portugal – Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden September 8, 2020 Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts. [Janerik Henriksson via REUTERS]

Ronaldo fired a spectacular brace against Sweden in Tuesday’s Nations League clash to finally reach a ton of goals for his country as he chases down Ali Daei’s record

Cristiano Ronaldo says he has “nothing to prove” to his critics after breaking the 100-goal barrier for Portugal on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old netted twice to grab the 100th and 101st strikes of his international career in his side’s 2-0 win over Sweden on the same ground he scored a momentous hat-trick in 2014.

He was initially a doubt for the match after missing Portugal’s previous fixture on Saturday with a foot injury.

In Ronaldo’s absence Portugal cruised past 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia 4-1, prompting some suggestions they were better off without their talisman.

But after bagging his milestone brace, Ronaldo hit back: “I didn’t follow the comments. It’s an opinion.

“I knew I had left a mark at this stadium and I knew that, if I played, I would leave a mark again. I don’t care about provocations.

Cristiano Ronaldo hits back at critics with pointed remark after 100th goal for Portugal
UEFA Nations League – League A – Group 3 – Sweden v Portugal – Friends Arena, Stockholm, Sweden September 8, 2020 Sweden’s Gustav Svensson tries to stop Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. [Claudio Bresciani via REUTERS ]

“What I have done in my career speaks for itself. No, I have to prove nothing to anyone, and when I have to prove it, I show it on the pitch.”

Ronaldo certainly did that, curling a stunning 25-yard free-kick into the top corner on the stroke of half-time to give Portugal the lead against Sweden, who had just been reduced to 10 men.

That saw the Juventus star reach the elusive ton he has been waiting to get to since November – but he wasn’t done there.

If his first goal was special, his second was even better.

Receiving the ball left of the semi-circle on the edge of the box he then lifted a shot over the keeper into the far top corner.

He becomes only the second male player to score over 100 goals for his nation at international level after Iran’s Ali Daei, who is now in sight on 109.

On his milestone goal, Ronaldo said: “I am very happy. Firstly, because the team won, which was the goal we had. Then the 100 mark and then the 101, with two goals, makes me very happy.

“Now the future is only for God. I feel good, I feel good for playing with these young players.”

 

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