Will the summer of 2021 be one of records? While the Euro and the Copa América are being played from a distance, three players have every intention of shining. They are Cristiano Ronaldo (36), Olivier Giroud (34) and Neymar (29). Indeed, these three are each aiming for a record. The Portuguese want the world record for selection goals, while the French and Brazilian can become the best gunners in the history of their national team.
He has participated in four World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018), will experience his fifth European Championship (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and has 104 goals scored in 175 selections. Him, of course, is Cristiano Ronaldo. A real scoring machine, the Lusitanian is approaching this Euro 2020 with a lot of ambitions. First of all because the Seleção das Quinas have their title of European champion to defend. Then, because the Juventus player is only five lengths behind the top scorer in the history of the selections, the Iranian Ali Daei (109 goals in 149 selections). However, CR7 will have to work hard if he wants to break this record in a big tournament.
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CR7 will have to work
Indeed, the Lusitanian has never exploded the counters during a major international competition. His goal record in a Euro or a World Cup is 4 goals (at the 2018 World Cup in Russia). Opposed to France and Germany in the group stage, Ronaldo will already have a lot to do. Will CR7 still amaze us? Ali Daei said he was convinced in November 2020 that CR7 was going to take away his property anyway. “Ronaldo will exceed my record, I’m sure, but he still has seven goals to reach it (5 now, editor’s note). It would be a real honor for me if a player of his caliber could beat him. He is one of the best players not only of this era, but of all time. It is an absolute phenomenon ”.
For its part, CR7 was less enthusiastic on this subject on Monday at a press conference. “It’s not a record that drives me crazy, it’s a beautiful record, but the best record would be to win the Euro for the second time in a row. The team is doing well, it is prepared. I hope that tomorrow the team will get off on the right foot, which is very important in this type of competition. “
Giroud believes in it
“I think it’s achievable to beat Thierry Henry’s record. I don’t set any limits for myself. We do this job to mark the history of football. “ Last January, Olivier Giroud clearly announced that he had the means to become the top scorer in the history of the France team. Moreover, each time the native of Chambéry proves to us that he has the mental resources to achieve this goal.
Despite a ridiculous playing time at Chelsea (8 starts in 17 Premier League matches) this season, Giroud has often proven to Didier Deschamps that he knew how to respond despite his complicated situation at the club. And even with the return of Karim Benzema to the France team, who relegated him to the sidelines, Giroud was able to distinguish himself by getting closer to Henry’s record thanks to his double scored against Bulgaria.
But it promises to be full-bodied
Substitute in club, but also in selection, the former resident of the MHSC is accustomed to seek his rewards while suffering. And once again, it will not be easy because his record during major competitions is not famous: Euro 2012 (0 goal), World Cup 2014 (1 goal), Euro 2016 (3 goals), World Cup 2018 (0 goal) . However, he can count on the support of Thierry Henry. “It would be great, a great accomplishment. Records are made to be broken. I talk to him a lot in fact, every time he scores a goal or two I always say ‘well done’ to him, because he deserves it. “
Finally, Neymar will undoubtedly beat Pelé’s record, but he is the least well placed of the three to achieve this goal this summer with the Seleção. Scorer against Venezuela in the opening match of the Copa América, the PSG player found the loophole for his third consecutive game with the Auriverdes (scorer against Ecuador and Paraguay in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers ).
Neymar facing double counting
Result: with 67 goals in 106 selections on the clock, Neymar is ten lengths behind King Pelé (77 goals in 92 selections). And again, this is the count made by FIFA. Because in the country where Pelé’s records vary according to the words of the triple world champion, the Brazilian federation (CBF) has 95 goals in 115 capes for its king. You will understand, catching 10 goals in a single competition is not easy, so if we must also take into account an unofficial count … Moreover, the Brazilian coach, Tite, preferred to kick in touch on this.
“Let’s not compare, it’s unfair to compare the times, the athletes and the numbers. There is a great Zico, who is of my generation. There is the Neymar generation, which is extraordinary, just before there was Romário, Ronaldo, extraordinary too. There are stages, cycles, moments for which we must not compare them. “ We don’t touch the myths!