Cristiano Ronaldo’s 100th international goal would’ve been memorable anyway, given that it made the Portuguese superstar just the second player in men’s soccer history to crack triple digits, after Iran’s Ali Daei accomplished the feat in 2004.
Daei’s milestone came in a 7-0 drubbing of Laos. Ronaldo’s historic strike was significantly more impressive, with the 35-year-old Juventus forward converting a spectacular free kick in Tuesday’s UEFA Nations League match against Sweden in Stockholm:
The goal came on the stroke of halftime, just one minute after Sweden’s Gustav Svensson — who plays for the Seattle Sounders in MLS — was sent off for the hosts after being shown his second yellow card for a hard foul on João Moutinho. Ronaldo took the restart himself, powering an unstoppable right-footed shot over the wall and out of the reach of keeper Robin Olsen.
Fittingly, Rolando added his 101st goal for Portugal midway through the second half, putting the game beyond the reach of the shorthanded Swedes.
The win moved Portugal past France and into the top spot in the Nations League A Group 3. Ronaldo and Co. will meet reigning world champion Les Bleus next month in Paris before welcoming the Swedes to Lisbon in the second match of October’s international fixture window.
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