Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised to his Portugal teammates after receiving an unnecessary yellow card in the first round of World Cup qualification against the Republic of Ireland.
After falling behind for much of the second half after Ireland’s 45th-minute goal, Ronaldo scored a late brace, two headers, to turn the tie around.
His late heroics cemented his place in history, as the 36-year-old surpassed Iranian Ali Daei’s record as the all-time highest scorer in men’s international football.
There were fears Ronaldo may have to wait a little longer to break the record as it had all the makings of ‘one of those nights for the Selecao- their skipper seeing his penalty saved by teenage goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
Ronaldo’s record-breaking goal celebration has accidentally helped his new club Manchester United, since the yellow card he received for removing his shirt has put him out of his country’s next qualification game, allowing him to link up with his United colleagues sooner than expected.
Ronaldo’s emotional Instagram post
After the game, the former Juventus player expressed regret for taking up a suspension, adding that his emotions had just gotten the better of him.
He said, “I forgot. It’s emotion of the game. Maybe the coach will give me a hard time, but it doesn’t matter. The important thing was to help the team. I’m sorry, but the emotions speak louder.”
Later, Ronaldo took to Instagram to share an emotional message about his latest album.
“From all of the records I’ve broken in my career – and there have been a few – this one stands out as one of the most meaningful to me, and it belongs on the shelf of accomplishments that I’m most proud of.
“First and foremost, because every time I represent my country, I feel a sense of pride in knowing that I am defending Portugal and demonstrating to the rest of the world what the Portuguese people are capable of.”
At the end of his post, he thanks his fellow teammates for making his journey memorable.