Jun 27, 2021, 1:47 PM
Journalist ID: 1844
News Code: 84383958
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Ali Daei lauds Cristiano Ronaldo as unforgettable athlete

Terhran, IRNA – Former Iranian soccer player Ali Daei referred to Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo who is close to surpassing Daei's international goal record as a soccer player "who will not be forgotten."

"I've been always proud of [Cristiano Ronaldo]. He is one of the world's third best football players and amongst those who will not be forgotten," Daei was quoted by Euronews as saying.

"Ronaldo has proved during years that with perseverance, hard work and professionalism one can achieve many goals," he added.

Daei previously congratulated Ronaldo on social media, to which the Portuguese footballer replied, "True champions remain champions forever. I'm very proud to read such kind words for a huge idol like you."

Daei scored his 109 goals between 1993 and 2006 while Ronaldo's first international goal was in 2004 in a match against Greece during the European championship that year.

"He is also an example of a good human being outside the field, who has done many good things," he added.

Ronaldo, who may soon become the highest goalscorer in men's international soccer, will leave a record that could eventually be broken by others.

"Mr. Ronaldo certainly leaves a record that many may break after 16-17 years, but I think [in terms of] Mr. Ronaldo's fitness and physical readiness, he can improve this record, and I have always wished him success," Daei said.

Earlier, the AFC named Daei “one of the biggest names" of Asian soccer, and added, “Ali Daei was already 27 when he departed Persepolis for Qatari outfit Al Sadd, but he was only a fraction of the way to establishing the legendary figures he is known for today.”

“Daei left the Iranian club game with 21 international goals to his name. When he returned seven years later, that tally had ballooned to 81, with the prolific striker also winning a Bundesliga title with Bayern Munich in the intervening years.

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