Asian football legend Ali Day of Iran congratulated Cristiano Ronaldo after the Portuguese star scored his 109th goal in the Euro 2020 match against France to equal his all-time record.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo, the leading scorer in the history of the European Championship, converted his second penalty from the match in Budapest to match the record in his 178th international appearance.
“Congratulations to @cristiano, who is now one goal away from breaking the men’s international record,” Daei, a prolific striker, posted on Instagram.
“I am honored that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo – a great football champion and caring humanist who inspires and influences life around the world.”
Daei scored a remarkable 109 goals in 149 appearances for Iran between 1993 and 2006, an achievement many thought would never be compared.
Dei has said on several occasions that he will be “happy” if Ronaldo breaks his record, as he believes the Juventus striker is among the top three players in history, along with Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.
Ronaldo responded to Daei with his own story on Instagram. “True champions remain champions forever. I am very proud to read such kind words from a huge idol like you. Thank you Ali Day,” said the Portuguese legend.
Ronaldo could escape Daei with Portugal, which qualifies for the quarterfinals of Euro 2020 as one of the best third-ranked teams. The defending champions play Belgium on Sunday.