On a night when Republic of Ireland came close to staging a World Cup qualifier upset, Cristiano Ronaldo did not hide his delight after his two goals saw him break the all-time international goals record and also saw Portugal turn the game in Faro around.

The veteran forward, who is returning to Manchester United after 12 years, scored a late equaliser against Stephen Kenny's side to cancel out John Egan's opener and broke the previous 109-goal mark he shared with Iran's Ali Daei in one fell swoop.

Ronaldo then extended the record to 111 goals minutes later after the allotted period of added time had elapsed to give Portugal a 2-1 win.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, the Portugal captain said that it was not just the record that had been on his mind at full-time.

"I'm so happy. I'm very happy, not only because I beat the record but for the special moments that we had," he said.

"Two goals at the end of the game, it was so tough but I have to appreciate what the team did.

"We believed until the end. The supporters, I'm so glad."

Ronaldo had a chance to break the record earlier in the game from the penalty spot but young Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu made the save to keep the game scoreless.

The Portugal forward described the miss as just "part of the game" and that he continued to believe that his team would find their way to goal.

"It's part of the game, it's part of the business. Sometimes you score, sometimes you (make a) mistake. It's part of the business but I still believed until the end of the game so I'm so glad to score and to win the game," he said.

On his Instagram account, Ronaldo added: "From all the records that I have broken during my career - and fortunately there have been a few - this one is very special for me and it's certainly on the shelf of the achievements that make me truly proud.

"First of all, because every time I represent my country is a special moment, for knowing that I'm defending Portugal and showing to the world what Portuguese people are made of.

"Secondly, because national teams competitions have always had a very strong impact on me as I was growing up, watching my idols playing for their flags every other summer in Euros and in World Cups.

"But finally and above all, because scoring 111 goals for Portugal means 111 moments like the ones we experienced today in Algarve, moments of worldwide union and happiness for millions and millions of Portuguese citizens all around the globe. For them, every sacrifice is worth it.

"Another reason for me to appreciate this achievement as much as I do right now, is because Ali Daei has set the standards in such a high level that at some point, even I started thinking that I might never catch him.

"Congratulations to the 'Shariar' for holding the record for so long and thanks for always showing so much respect for me every time I scored and as I became closer and closer to his outstanding number.

"Thank you Portugal. Thanks to all my team-mates and opponents for making this journey so unforgettable. Let's keep meeting inside the pitch in the years to come. I'm not closing the count just yet..."