Cristiano Ronaldo labelled 'flat-track bully' as 99-goal international haul is compared to Lionel Messi’s tally
Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge of making history for Portugal as just one more goal would spring him to 100 for his country – but Ronaldo has been labelled a “flat-track bully” in some quarters.
On Sunday, Ronaldo hit his 99th goal for Portugal in his side's final Euro 2020 qualifier with Luxembourg, after Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring for the away team in a 2-0 win.
Ronaldo finished by stabbing the ball in as it trickled over the line, denying Diogo Jota his first ever goal for Portugal.
If Ronaldo can hit 10 more goals for his country, he would equal the all-time international goal-scoring record set by Iranian legend Ali Daei.Also on rt.com Cristiano Ronaldo hits back at media after firing Portugal to Euro 2020: 'There was no controversy – you created that'
And although Ronaldo has impressed throughout his career with his extraordinary scoring talents, other-worldly skill and brute athletic ability... is his international record as impressive as it looks?
The argument over who, out of Ronaldo and Messi, is the more superior, has raged on for the majority of the pair’s respective careers.
Messi has notched 70 goals for Argentina, 29 fewer than Ronaldo. But according to the statistics, the Barcelona legend is scoring against higher caliber teams at a more consistent rate.Also on rt.com 'Whenever you want': Messi’s response revealed after Cavani 'calls him out for fight' in fiery Argentina-Uruguay clash in Israel
According to data collated by Mundo Deportivo, 29 per cent of Ronaldo's 99 goals have been scored against sides that are in the top 50 FIFA team rankings, while a sky-high 82 per cent of Messi's 70 goals have been buried against those same teams.
Analyzing Ronaldo’s data, Athletic reporter Oliver Kay said that while the Portugal star’s “irrefutable greatness” had been proven elsewhere, racking up 23 goals against footballing minnows such as Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands had been an exercise in “flat-track bullying.”
Column on Cristiano Ronaldo and why that incredible strike rate for Portugal — 99 goals, 44 of them over the past 4 yrs! — feels like an affirmation of international football’s weakness rather than his greatness, which has been proven irrefutably elsewhere https://t.co/ETrC8DHD0h— Oliver Kay (@OliverKay) November 19, 2019
Check out the stats below for yourself:
Messi – 70 goals
5 – Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay
4 – Venezuela, Ecuador
3 – Colombia, Chile, Switzerland, Bolivia, Nigeria, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Guatemala
2 – Spain, Croatia, Algeria, Hong Kong, Nicaragua
1 – France, Germany, Portugal, Peru, Iran, United States, Slovenia, Albania, Bosnia, Serbia
Cristiano – 99 goals
7 – Lithuania
5 – Andorra, Armenia, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden
4 – Estonia, Faroe Islands, Hungary, Netherlands
3 – Belgium, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland
2 – Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Cameroon, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia
1 – Argentina, Croatia, Ecuador, Finland, Ghana, Greece, Iceland, Iran, Morocco, New Zealand, North Korea, Panama, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, Wales
Ronaldo does have more major trophies than Messi at international level, however, so it's not all doom and gloom for the former Real Madrid man.