Spanish Media Throws Serious Shade On Cristiano Ronaldo's 99 International Goals
Cristiano Ronaldo's impressive haul of 99 international goals has been criticised by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
The 34-year-old striker scored four more for his country this week - a hat-trick against Lithuania and a late goal versus Luxembourg - to close in on his century.
That put him 29 international goals ahead of his rival Lionel Messi, but Mundo Deportivo have backed the Barcelona magician.
They report: "Ronaldo has scored 99 goals with Portugal, only 28 of them (29%) have been against teams of the 'Top 50' in the world.
"In the case of Messi, 57 of his 70 goals have been against 'Top 50' (82%)."
Ronaldo will now have to wait till March at least to become only the second person, after Ali Daei, to score a century of goals and it's interesting to take a look where his first 99 have come from.
As Oliver Kay points out in his article for the Athletic, the Juventus striker has scored his most recent 44 international goals in 43 appearances, or four years, whilst his first 55 goals took 122 appearances, or 12 goals.
That is quite the return of goals in such a short time, with much of that period coming after Portugal had won the Euros in 2016.
As well as scoring more of the goals in the second half of his career the former Real Madrid forward has also scored a majority of his goals in the second half of games.
UEFA show that the forward has scored 40 times in the first 45 minutes and 59 times after the break and a majority of his goals come really late.
The stats show that the 34-year-old's fitness and conditioning really come into their own late in the game with 30 of his 59 second half goals coming from the 76th minute onwards.
More than half his goals have come from his right foot but the former Sporting man has scored 22 times with his left foot and another 24 with his head.
Despite being known as 'penaldo' he's only scored 11 goals from the spot, 79 from open play and another nine from direct free kicks, including the incredible late equaliser against Spain in the 2018 World Cup group game.
When it comes to opponents Ronaldo has been described by some as a flat track bully. His hat-trick against Lithuania last Thursday was the second time this year he'd bagged three against the same opposition.
They are now the team he's scored most against, with seven past them, whilst he also has five against Luxembourg, Latvia, Andorra and Armenia.
As per Kay's article his goals since the Euros win have come against Andorra, Faroe Islands, Latvia, Russia, New Zealand, Egypt, Morocco, Switzerland, Serbia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and of course that hat-trick against Spain, which is pretty much the exception in terms of quality.
He has scored just four times against World Cup winning teams, and again three of those in the one match against Iberian neighbours Spain.
Ronaldo is yet to score in a World Cup knockout stage, something he'll hope to change in three years time in Qatar, should he still be playing.
Ronaldo's 99 goals already makes for an incredible record, he will potentially make it 100 in March and possibly become international football's leading scorer by the end of next summer. No matter how you dress it up, that's impressive.