CRISTIANO RONALDO made history by becoming the all-time men’s leading international goalscorer – and then broke Irish hearts in Fergie time.
Manchester United’s new signing powered home superb headers in the 89th and 96th minutes to beat Ali Daei’s 109-goal record and move onto 111.
His heroics clinched a stunning 2-1 win for Portugal in this World Cup qualifier.
For 89 minutes, as the Irish mix of kids and journeymen somehow defied logic to hold onto the lead given them by John Egan’s header, Ronaldo’s big night was turning into an evening to forget.
A missed penalty and scuffle with Dara O’Shea that could, with another referee, have led to a red card, was just the start as Ronaldo summed up all of Portugal’s frustrations.
That the main source of them was a teenage rookie keeper, on loan at Portsmouth from Manchester City, would have made him feel even worse.
Portugal hammered at their opponent’s door, which was being well marshalled by young goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu.
He parried Ronaldo‘s penalty before efforts from Bernardo Silva and Joao Mario failed to break Ireland’s resolve.
But, in Ronaldo, Portugal – and now United – have a player who can turn a lost cause into a personal triumph, in the blink of an eye. You are NEVER out of a match.
And in the 89th-minute Goncalo Guedes’ cross was headed home by the veteran to break Daei’s record.
And that was not enough for the insatiable striker, who popped up with virtually last action of the game to grab the winner.Mario provided the ball in and once again Ronaldo guided his brilliant header into the net.
The superstar whipped off his shirt in trademark fashion as Estadio Algarve wildly celebrated Portugal’s favourite son, holding his iconic No7 jersey aloft.
On full-time, he took away both match balls he scored with as an extra trophy.
A yellow card for his celebration means he can head to Manchester after Saturday’s friendly with Qatar rather than flying to Azerbaijan.
He declared after the final whistle: “I’m happy not only because I got the record but for the special moments that we had with two goals at the end.”
“I have to appreciate what the team did. We believed until the end. For the supporters, I’m so happy.”
On the penalty miss, Ronaldo added: “It’s part of the game. Sometimes we score, sometimes you [make a] mistake. It’s part of the business.
“But I still believed until the end of the game so I am so glad to score and win the game.”
Portugal peppered the Irish goal with 29 shots in total, of which Ronaldo fired in eight.
And the comeback means the Selecao are well on their way to the World Cup with ten points from four games, leaving Ireland stuck on zero.