Cristiano Ronaldo becomes most-capped men’s international footballer


Cristiano Ronaldo made his 197th appearance for Portugal on Thursday, seeing him overtake Bader Al-Mutawa for the most international caps.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has become the most-capped men’s international footballer of all time.

Forward Al Nassr won his 197th cap in Thursday’s opening Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein, moving one ahead of Kuwait striker Bader Al-Mutawa.

The third on the list is the Malaysian Soh Chin Ann (195 matches), the first five are completed by Ahmed Hassan (184) and Ahmed Mubarak (183) from Egypt and Oman.

Ronaldo equaled Al-Mutawa’s record when he featured for Portugal in their World Cup quarter-final defeat of Morocco in December.

Ahead of the meeting with Liechtenstein at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Ronaldo revealed that he is considering retiring from international football after this defeat.

But he was named in new head coach Roberto Martinez’s first team and made more history when he featured against minnows Liechtenstein in Lisbon.

Ronaldo, who also holds the record for men’s international goals (118), earned his first start in 2003 when he replaced Luis Figo in a friendly against Kazakhstan.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who won Euro 2016 with Portugal, has played against Luxembourg (10 matches) more times than any other nation, followed by Spain (nine).

Luxembourg is also the country against which Ronaldo has scored the most, finding the net nine times, while he scored seven times against Lithuania and Sweden.

He has played 47 times for Portugal at major tournaments – 25 at the European Championships and 22 at the World Cup – and hopes to feature at Euro 2024.

“My biggest wish is to get Portugal as high as possible,” Ronaldo said on Wednesday. “I will always play my part when needed.

“Making records is always a positive thing and it motivated me. I like to break records and now I will break another special one. I am very proud of that.”

“But after [Thursday] I still have a lot of games left. We’ll see if the coach still wants to count on me to be available.”

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