‘He is an absolute phenomenon’ – Record-holder speaks out as Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on history

Iranian football icon Ali Daei has revealed his hope that Cristiano Ronaldo breaks his all-time international scoring record, as reported by Goal

While the vast majority of Daei’s club success came in the far east, with stints at Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin not proving to be overly prolific, he is regarded as one of the greatest international players of all-time.

You may think that bizarre, as there’s a relatively good chance you’ve never heard of him, but Daei actually holds the record for the most international goals ever scored by any player, for any country.

His tally of 109 for Iran is unmatched, for now, but Cristiano Ronaldo is closing in.

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The Juventus forward is currently on 102 for Portugal and looking certain to make that record his own, but Daei is not bitter, nor is he at all upset, rather the Iranian legend has revealed he would be honoured to have his prized record beaten by Ronaldo.

Speaking to Portuguese outlet Record, with the quotes helpfully translated into English by Goal, Daei said:

“I sincerely hope that Cristiano Ronaldo will reach my goal record for the national team. In no way [would I be hurt], it would be a real honour for me if a player of his class could do it.”

“Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best players not only of his time, but of all time. He is an absolute phenomenon. I would congratulate him directly. But first he has to get there.”

“Cristiano Ronaldo already has 102 goals for Portugal and will beat my record, I’m sure of that, but he still has seven goals to go.”

Now that is the mark of a truly class act. His international goal scoring record is what is his remembered for, but he has no issue seeing Ronaldo beat it – or so he claims.

We’re sure that he’ll shed a tear when Ronaldo nets the record-breaking goal, but as he says himself, there’s worse players to one-up you than arguably the best goal-scorer of all-time.

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