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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo becomes Europe's top scorer in internationals

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Hislop: Ronaldo's focused on being a leader with Portugal (4:01)

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop says we're seeing a different Cristiano Ronaldo with Portugal, a player who is becoming the leader his country needs. (4:01)

Cristiano Ronaldo broke Ferenc Puskas' record for the most international goals by a European player with his winning goal for Portugal against Morocco in their 2018 World Cup group match on Wednesday.

The Portugal captain met Joao Moutinho's cross to head home in the fourth minute at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, sealing a 1-0 win for the reigning European champions.

Ronaldo, 33, followed his hat trick in last Friday's 3-3 draw with Spain by scoring his 85th career goal for Portugal in the Russian capital to overtake Puskas, who played for Hungary from 1945 to 1956 and for whom FIFA has named its Goal of the Year Award.

Among players from all continents, Ronaldo now trails only Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran from 1993 to 2006.


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Ronaldo, who was named Man of the Match and thus obligated to attend a news conference, limited himself to respond to just two questions from the FIFA moderator and then got up and left the room without taking any questions from reporters.

"The most important thing was to win the match and get the three points," he said. "I was able to score the goal so I am very happy," before adding "Portugal was almost through" to the second round.

Speaking of his star player's achievements, Portugal boss Fernando Santos hailed Ronaldo's sustained success.

"Cristiano is like port wine. He knows how to refine his capacity and age well. He is a constantly evolving, contrary to regular players," said the coach.

Ronaldo's success has come at an event in which he has previously struggled to be at his best, and he has eclipsed his goal tally from his combined 13 appearances at his three previous World Cups.

Portugal's final match in Group B is against Iran at Mordovia Arena in Saransk on Monday.