GUATEMALA CITY: Guatemala’s Carlos Ruiz has become the highest scorer in World Cup qualifier history after netting five goals in his final international appearance.
Guatemala beat St Vincent and the Grenadines 9-3 as Ruiz, 36, took his record to 68 goals in 133 games. The 36-year-old striker has now scored 38 goals in World Cup qualifiers, beating Iran’s Ali Daei’s previous record of 35.
Ruiz, who announced his international retirement on Monday, scored a hat trick in the first half and then added a brace in the second half before exiting the match in the 88th minute.
Widely known as just Pescado or “Fish”, he has been a member of the Guatemalan national team since 1998 and has played in five World Cup qualification competitions.
Ruiz, who played for five different MLS clubs, also holds the record for the most post-season goals in MLS history with 16. In 2002, he was named the MLS’s Most Valuable Player of the season.
Changes of mind
This is not the first time the forward has announced his retirement from international football. He made a similar pledge in February 2009, before returning two years later.
Then, in October 2012, Ruiz announced his retirement from international again after a 3-1 defeat to the United States. But, two years later, he was back banging in the goals for Guatemala. Who knows if this will be the last we see of this prolific striker.
Despite the victory, Guatemala missed out on World Cup qualification, after the United States beat Trinidad and Tobago 4-0.