Ronaldo is close to Ali Daei’s men’s record, but he needs a lot more goals to become the greatest international goalscorer of all time
Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal against Germany at Euro 2020 has brought him one step closer to becoming the biggest international goal scorer in men’s football, now just two goals behind Ali Daei.
Since that game against Germany, Ronaldo has scored 107 goals in 177 games for his country, three of them in his country’s triumphant Euro 2016 campaign and seven in the World Cup finals.
However, to become the top international goalscorer in both men’s and women’s football, Ronaldo must have the incredible record of Christine Sinclair.
Who is Christine Sinclair?
Christine Sinclair is a forward who plays primarily as an attacking midfielder and is the captain of the Canadian women’s national team and the Portland Thorns.
The 38-year-old has played in North America throughout her career and was selected by FC Gold Pride as the eighth overall selection in the 2008 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) expansion draft after playing for the Portland Pilots while studying.
She moved to Western New York Flash in 2011 and joined the Thorns two years later for the opening season of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), where she has remained ever since.
Sinclair has participated in five World Cup finals and two Olympic Games for her country and has won two bronze medals. She has won both the WPS Championship and the NWSL Championship twice, won the NWSL Challenge Cup in 2021 and is widely considered Canada’s greatest player of all time.
What is Christine Sinclair’s international goal record?
Sinclair’s record currently stands at 186 goals in 297 Games for Canada and she is traveling to other Olympics this summer to further add to the total.
Sinclair set a new international goal record in January 2020 and scored their 184th and 185th international matches against St. Kitts and Nevis in the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship.
“Thanks everyone for all the news. I’m a little overwhelmed, “she posted on Twitter afterwards. “Thanks to all of my team-mates, coaches, employees, friends and family, 185 would not have been possible without you.”
The previous record was held by Abby Wambach, the former striker of the US women’s national team, who won two Olympic golds and also won the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Wambach scored 184 goals in 255 games for her country before retiring in 2015.
What other records does Christine Sinclair hold?
Not only is Sinclair her country’s all-time top scorer, but she has more caps (297) for Canada than anyone, male or female. This puts her in fourth place on the list of the most capped players of all time, behind the American trio Kristine Lilly (354), Christie Pearce (311) and Carli Lloyd (304), with Lloyd still an active player.
Sinclair was captain of the World Cup four times and has scored at least one goal in five different tournaments, a record she shares with Marta.
The striker is also the only person to have won the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award more than once, a prestigious award for Canada’s Sportswoman of the Year, and has been named Canadian Player of the Year an incredible 14 times.
Who else has more international goals than Ronaldo and Messi?
Nine players currently have more international goals than Ronaldo, four of whom are still active.
Alex Morgan from the US and Marta from Brazil both have 109 goals, level with Daei, and will continue to increase those numbers. Above them are the Scottish Julie Fleeting (116), Lloyd (125) and the German Birgit Prinz (128), followed by the American trio Lilly (130), Mia Hamm (158) and Wambach (184), at the head of Sinclair.
Lionel Messi is still chasing the 100 mark in his national team career and has a record 73 goals in 147 games for Argentina. He ranks 13th on the all-time list of men’s footballers, with India’s Sunil Chhetri, UAE Ali Mabkhout and Ronaldo being the three active players above him.
* Note statistics: as of June 23, 2021