(Lisbon) Cristiano Ronaldo set a new world record for men’s national team caps by playing his 197th match for Portugal against Liechtenstein on Thursday in Lisbon for Euro-2024 qualifying.
The 38-year-old striker, playing for the Saudi club Al-Nassr, started at the start of this first meeting of the Seleção qualifying campaign towards the European championship organized in Germany and thus doubled the Kuwaiti Bader Al-Mutawa (196) with whom he shared this record until then.
“I like breaking records, that’s my motivation, I want to become the player with the most caps in history, that would be something, I admit, that would make me proud. But it doesn’t stop there, I would still like to be called up very often during my career, ” Ronaldo had warned the day before at a press conference.
CR7 honored his first cap on August 20, 2003, at 18 years, 6 months and 15 days, coming into play in a friendly match against Kazakhstan. Portugal was then coached by the Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari.
In almost 20 years of international career, the Portuguese captain has faced 70 different nations and participated in all the major international competitions since Euro-2004, i.e. five European Championships and five World Cups. He won the first two major trophies in the history of his country: Euro-2016 and the League of Nations 2019.
The five-time Ballon d’Or already held the world record for goals in the selection since September 1, 2021 by overtaking, thanks to a double against Ireland, the Iranian Ali Daei and his 109 achievements. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first international goal against Greece, at the opening of Euro-2004 organized in Portugal.
He has thus accumulated two of the most important records in men’s football.
Danilo Pereira, Ruben Dias, Inacio
Cancelo, Bruno Fernandes, Palhinha, Bernardo Silva, Raphaël Guerreiro
Cristiano Ronaldo (cap.), Joao Felix