The Real Madrid man took his international tally to 47 goals to equal the former Bordeaux attacker’s haul following a stunning hat-trick against Sweden
Cristiano Ronaldo has become Portugal’s join-top goalscorer of all-time after equalling Pauleta’s record haul following his match-winning hat-trick against Sweden in the second-leg of their World Cup play-off.
Ronaldo notched his 45th, 46th and 47th goals in a ruthless display of attacking football, as he ensured Paulo Bento’s men qualified for World Cup 2014 with a 4-2 aggregate victory.
The 28-year-old gave the visitors the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic grabbed a double to put his side firmly back in the tie, but Ronaldo demonstrated his quality by netting a quick double to put the result beyond doubt.
Ronaldo had already beaten the goalscoring feats of Eusebio (32), Figo (29), Nuno Gomes (27) and Rui Costa (26) prior to his 109th appearance for his country and he can now can break Pauleta’s record with his next international goal.
The performance has further heightened his chances of lifting the Ballon d’Or in 2013 after an incredible year, in which he has now scored five hat-tricks this season alone.