Cristiano Ronaldo set a new world record for men's national team caps when he played his 197th game for Portugal against Liechtenstein on Thursday in Lisbon for Euro 2024 qualifying.

The 38-year-old striker, playing for Saudi club Al-Nassr, was a starter at the kick-off of this first match of the Seleção's qualifying campaign for the European Championship held in Germany and thus overtook Kuwaiti Bader Al-Mutawa (196) with whom he shared this record until then.

"I like to break records, it's my motivation, I want to become the player with the most caps in history, it would be something, I admit, that would make me proud. But it does not stop there, I would still like to be called very often in selection during my career, "had warned Cristiano Ronaldo the day before in a press conference.

Almost 20 years of international career

'CR7' earned his first cap on 20 August 2003, aged 18 years, 6 months and 15 days, coming on in a friendly against Kazakhstan. Portugal was coached by Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari.

In almost 20 years of international career, the Portuguese captain has faced 70 different nations and participated in all major international competitions since Euro 2004, five European Championships and five World Cups. He won the first two major trophies in his country's history: Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner already held the world record for goals in selection since September 1, 2021 by surpassing, thanks to a double against Ireland, the Iranian Ali Daei and his 109 achievements. Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first international goal against Greece, in the opening round of Euro 2004 in Portugal.

He thus accumulated two of the most important records in men's national football.

With AFP

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