ALI DAEI has sent Cristiano Ronaldo a classy message after seeing his all-time international goalscoring record levelled.
The Portugal superstar, 36, scored two penalties in his nation's 2-2 draw with France in the final Group F game at Euro 2020.
The double saw Ronaldo draw level with Iran legend Daei on 109 international goals.
Daei played 149 times for his country between 1993 and 2006, with Ronaldo levelling his tally from 178 matches.
And after his heroics kept Portugal in the tournament – where they will face Belgium in the last-16 – Daei was quick to pay tribute to Ronaldo with a post on Instagram.
Daei wrote: "Congratulations to Cristiano who is now one goal away from breaking the men’s international goal scoring record.
"I am honoured that this remarkable achievement will belong to Ronaldo.
"He's a great champion of football and caring humanist who inspires and impacts lives throughout the world. Vamos!"
Ronaldo replied with a gushing post of his own, which read: "True champions remain champions forever.
"I'm very proud to read such kind words from a huge idol like you. Thank you, Ali Daei."
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Daei also told The Times: “I am delighted that Ronaldo will be the one who is doing it.
"My record being touched by a player like Ronaldo feels like another record to me."
A proud Daei – linked with a coaching role at Everton – added: "I admire his commitment and focus.
“And after reaching so many titles, his passion for the game is like on day one.”
Daei went on to explain playing for the national flag and 80 million fans was all the fuel he needed to keep banging in the goals for Iran.
The ex-Bayern Munich striker added: “After each goal people were so happ.
"And the more the people got happy the more pleasure I had.
"With the national team you were playing for your flag and the 80 million people.”
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