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Cristiano Ronaldo Makes History, Becomes Most-Capped Men’s International Footballer Ever

Cristiano Ronaldo has broken the record for most international appearances in the history of men’s football.

The Portugal striker earned his 197th cap as he started Thursday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein, moving him clear of Kuwait legend Bader Al-Mutawa, who held the previous record with 196.

“Records are my motivation” Ronaldo told reporters on the day before the game. “I want to become the most-capped player in history. That would make me proud.

“But it doesn’t stop there. I still want to be called up very often.”

Now 38, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal back in August 2003 at just 18 years old, coming off the bench to replace the legendary Luis Figo in a friendly victory over Kazakhstan.

After a brief return to the Under-21 side, Ronaldo quickly established himself as a permanent feature of the senior team and has gone on to enjoy a legendary career which has also seen him break the record for most goals in men’s international football.

Ronaldo has a long way to go, however, if he is to break the all-time international appearance across both men’s and women’s football. United States legend Kristine Lilly currently holds the honour with a whopping 354 appearances for her country.

Most-capped players in men’s football history

Cristiano Ronaldo197Portugal
Bader Al-Mutawa196Kuwait
Soh Chin Ann195Malaysia
Ahmed Hassan184Egypt
Ahmed Kano183Oman
Sergio Ramos180Spain
Andres Guardado179Mexico
Mohamed Al-Deayea178Saudi Arabia
Claudio Suarez177Mexico
Gianluigi Buffon176Italy


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