Hope Cristiano raises bar: Daei
Former Iran striker Ali Daei has said he would be honoured to see Cristiano Ronaldo break his record for the most goals in international soccer as the Portugal forward moves closer to his tally of 109.
Ronaldo, the only other centurion in the men’s international arena, has scored 102 goals in 168 appearances since his debut in 2003.
The Juventus forward is now 35 years of age but is showing no sign of slowing down and is expected to pass Daei at some stage.
An iconic figure who captained Iran and retired in 2006, Daei reached his mark in 148 appearances.
Daei claims he would be happy to see Cristiano overtake him and raise the bar a little higher.
“I sincerely hope that Cristiano Ronaldo reaches my record for the national team,” Daei was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
“It would be a real honour for me if a player of his calibre beats my record. Cristiano is one of the best players not only of this era, but ever. He’s an absolute phenomenon.”
“Once Cristiano beats my record, I will personally congratulate him,” Daei said.
Portugal manager Fernando Santos claims no one in the Portugal camp is allowing Cristiano’s record-chasing exploits to become a distraction.
“The other players will not be thinking about not scoring in order to give the chance to someone else.
“Even Cristiano wouldn’t want that to happen. Cristiano will score when he has to score. The (other players) will not be thinking about that,” Santos said.