"Will break Messi's record", "Underrated GOAT"- Twitter explodes as Cristiano Ronaldo scores 60th free-kick goal in Portugal's 4-0 Liechtenstein win
Fans on Twitter made a Lionel Messi claim as Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace in Portugal's 4-0 win over Liechtenstein in their opening UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier on Thursday (March 23).
Joao Cancelo opened the scoring for Roberto Martinez's team. The Bayern Munich star, on loan from Manchester City, sent a goal-bound sweetly struck volley that took a deflection off a Liechtenstein defender to end up in the back of Benjamin Buchel's net.
Ronaldo was then found by Cancelo inside the area. While the Al-Nassr forward chested down the ball immaculately, he blasted the effort over the bar. Ronaldo knocked on the door again as his towering header from a corner skipped past the post.
Joao Palhinha connected well with his volleyed effort only to see the ball sail past Buchel's goal. Bernardo Silva made it 2-0 in the 47th minute, bagging is ninth international goal.
Cristiano Ronaldo then bagged his 119th international goal, dispatching home a penalty won by Joao Cancelo. Ronaldo netted again soon after but was in an offside position.
The 38-year-old, though, completed his brace as he nearly took the roof of the net with a blistering free kick from just outside the penalty area. He has now scored 60 free-kick goals in his career, one short of Messi, sending fans into a frenzy.
"Ronaldo will break Messi's record"
Another chimed in:
"Ronaldo scoring two goals and won’t get much publicity like when messi gives an assist. Ronaldo is an underrated GOAT"
Here are some of the best reactions across Twitter:
Cristiano Ronaldo considered retiring from international football after 2022 World Cup
Cristiano Ronaldo's campaign during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar was far from ideal. While he scored in the opening game against Ghana, Ronaldo was benched for both his country's knockout games. His eternal rival Messi, meanwhile, won the tournament.
The Al-Nassr superstar recently revealed that he considered the possibility of calling time on his international career following the last-eight exit. Ronaldo said (via GOAL):
“I'm not going to lie. In our life, we have to put everything on the scale. We thought, we reflected, me and my family, but then we came to the conclusion that, despite the difficulties, we cannot throw in the towel. I was able to see situations at different angles. I learned a lot from that."
“I'm glad to be back. Roberto Martinez showed that he counted on me. I've always wanted to play. As you know, he talked to everyone and to me, too. And I was able to realise that I have a lot to give to the national team. I feel it. I want it, and my desire is to take Portugal to the highest level. I will always give my contribution when they need me.”
Portugal will return to action on March 26 against Luxembourg in the last game of the ongoing international break. Given his performance against Liechtenstein, Cristiano Ronaldo should once again spearhead the attack.