Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to break the world record for the most international goals in men’s football after scoring his 99th Portugal goal in a 2-0 win over Luxembourg on Sunday.
Ronaldo is 10 behind Iran legend Ali Daei’s tally of 109, after his most prolific year for Portugal with 14 goals.
“All records must be broken and I will beat that record,” he said.
The Juventus forward added a late second after Bruno Fernandes’ open to help the defending champions confirm a place at next summer’s tournament.
Fernando Santos’ 2016 winners finished second in Group B, three points clear of Serbia who drew 2-2 against Ukraine.
Ronaldo must wait until the next international break in March for the chance to become just the second male player to reach 100 international goals.
The 34-year-old had joined up with the Portugal squad amid speculation over his fitness and attitude following his angry reaction to being substituted during Juventus’ 1-0 win over AC Milan the previous Sunday.
Juve coach Maurizio Sarri then said that Ronaldo had been struggling with a knee problem for some time.
“In the last three weeks, I have been playing with limitations,” Ronaldo told a group of reporters outside Portugal’s dressing-room door on Sunday. “But there was no controversy — you (the media) created that.
“I tried to help Juventus. Nobody likes to be substituted but I understood because I wasn’t in such good shape,” he added.
Ronaldo said he was also “not 100 percent” in the two Portugal matches.
“I sacrificed myself for the team,” he said. “We could have missed out (on Euro 2020). Thankfully, I haven’t been injured much in my career but it can happen.”
“It’s a pain that prevents me from being 100 percent, but I always try to play. They created a big controversy where it didn’t need to exist. I’ll be back to 100 percent soon.”
However, he confirmed that he is not fully fit, having been replaced in Juventus’ last two games before the international break.
“I wasn’t 100% and I’m still not,” he said. “In the last three weeks, I have played at a slightly reduced capacity.
“But when it comes to sacrificing myself for my club and my national team, I do it with pride.”