Cristiano Ronaldo says there is no reason for Eusebio to be unhappy at being overtaken on Portugal’s all-time record goalscorers list.
Ronaldo’s hat trick in September’s 4-2 World Cup qualifying win against Northern Ireland took the Real Madrid attacker to 43 goals for his country, ahead of Eusebio’s mark of 41, and close behind Pauleta’s all-time record of 47.
The 1960s legend reacted by claiming his tally remained more impressive as there had been less international games against ‘minnows’ such as Liechtenstein and Azerbaijan in his playing days.
The current Portugal captain told reporters at his country’s training camp that comparisons with Eusebio were natural, but each man would always have his own place in Portugal’s football history.
“I believe he should not be unhappy, records are there to be beaten,” the Real Madrid attacker said. “It is simple -- Eusebio will always be Eusebio and Cristiano will always be Cristiano. It is normal that people compare us, but Eusebio should not be unhappy because he will always be up there at the top. What I want is to play another 100 games for Portugal, because nobody could be unhappy with that.”
Portugal go into the forthcoming fixtures a point behind Russia in Group F -- so to qualify directly for Brazil 2014 they in practice need to beat both Israel and Luxembourg at home, and hope Fabio Capello’s team slip up either in Luxembourg or in Azerbaijan.
The former Manchester United man said he was confident his team would get the six points and then they would have to wait and see.
“They are two games that we must win, we are favourites and we will go out onto the pitch to give our best to guarantee the six points,” Ronaldo said. “We must win the two games and see what Russia do. There are two games left, and if we do not win them, there is no point in thinking about the World Cup. I do not believe they will be easy victories, we will have to do everything to win, but we have the better team and we need to show that on the pitch.”