Cristiano Ronaldo set to break FIFA men’s international caps record

Cristiano Ronaldo set to break FIFA men's international caps record
Cristiano Ronaldo

football world is abuzz with the possibility of Cristiano Ronaldo breaking the FIFA record for men’s international caps if he plays tomorrow, which would be his 197th appearance. The Portuguese national team, also known as the Selecao, is set to face Liechtenstein in their first qualifier for Euro 2024, and manager Roberto Martinez has given the call-up to the legendary forward.

Currently, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is tied with Kuwaiti forward Badr Al-Mutawa with 196 caps each. Ronaldo received his first Portugal cap at the age of 18 when he replaced Luis Figo in a friendly match against Kazakhstan in 2003. He scored his first international goal on his eighth cap against Greece.

Last September, Ronaldo surpassed Ali Daei to become the men’s player with the most international goals, with a total of 109. He scored two goals against the Republic of Ireland to go clear of the Iranian’s record. Since then, the 38-year-old has increased his tally to 118 goals for his country.

Al-Mutawa achieved the milestone in Kuwait’s 3-0 defeat to Jordan in the qualification round for the 2023 Asian Cup. He has scored 56 goals for his country and currently plays for Qadsia SC in the Kuwait Premier League. Al-Mutawa previously held the record in 2021, but FIFA later validated Malaysia’s Soh Chin Ann’s total at 195.

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