Cristiano Ronaldo would have hoped to have scored his 100th Portugal goal against Belgium on Friday.
The Juventus superstar is on 99 international strikes and is set to become just the second male player to reach a century, quickly closing on Ali Daei’s record tally of 109 for Iran.
But amid the coronavirus pandemic, Portugal’s March internationals have been cancelled.
Ronaldo will have to wait until later in the year at the earliest to bring up another career landmark, unable to take on either Belgium or Croatia.
There are plenty of highlights from his previous 99 Portugal goals, though, and we have selected five of the best.
Love this feeling pic.twitter.com/e7bZ9vtJJU
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) November 15, 2019
Denmark v Portugal (October 11, 2011)
Ronaldo could have his own wing in the Hall of Fame for free-kicks and this effort would be at home among them.
Portugal were trailing 2-0 in the Euro 2012 qualifier with the match in injury time, but Ronaldo enjoyed a moment to remember by smashing home an unstoppable 30-yard effort from the left into the far corner with power and dip – a simply glorious strike.
Armenia v Portugal (June 13, 2015)
Nearly three years on and again in a European Championship qualifier, Ronaldo played a star turn as Portugal won a thriller 3-2 in Armenia.
Having already levelled from the penalty spot and put his side ahead with an impudent finish, Ronaldo celebrated his hat-trick by taking a beautiful touch from a dropping ball, turning sharply and lashing into the top-right corner from 25 yards.
Hungary v Portugal (June 22, 2016)
A year later, Portugal fell behind to Hungary in Lyon during Euro 2016 three times and it was Ronaldo who dragged his team level on the second occasion with a display of fine skill.
The captain added a deft flick with his trailing leg to Joao Mario’s right-wing cross to make it 2-2, and he cancelled out Balazs Dzsudzsak’s second with a double of his own. It was enough to send Portugal into the knockout stages, and from there, they claimed a maiden international title.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@UEFAEURO) July 10, 2016
Portugal v Spain (June 15, 2018)
ce given his side the lead, Ronaldo found Portugal 3-2 down to their Iberian neighbours in their thrilling opener at the 2018 World Cup.
The was a sense of inevitability when he stood over an 88th-minute free-kick, though, and the execution was sheer perfection as he left David de Gea with no chance.
Portugal v Switzerland (June 5, 2019)
Another game, another Ronaldo hat-trick – this time at last year’s inaugural Nations League Finals. It was again a trademark free-kick that got the Ronaldo ball rolling, and he swept home a second to restore Portugal’s lead.
But Ronaldo saved the best for the last in the final minute of normal time, picking up the ball wide on the left, adding a couple of trademark silky step overs, jinking inside the defender and rifling home into the bottom-right corner.
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