Al-Nassr forward Cristiano Ronaldo set the record for the most international appearances in men’s football with his 197th appearance for Portugal against Liechtenstein today/
The 38-year-old has surpassed Kuwait legend Bader Al-Mutawa (196). He also marked the occasion with a brace as his side began their 2024 European Championship qualifying campaign with a win.
Joao Cancelo opened the scoring early in the game and Portugal held on to their lead until the beak. They sprung out of the blocks in the second half, and Bernardo Sila doubled the lead on 47.
However, no one could upstage Ronaldo. He fired home a penalty to mark his record-breaking appearance with a goal, but it got better.
Twelve minutes later, the former Real Madrid attacker belted a gorgeous free-kick into the back of the net for a brace.
It was his second free-kick goal in a matter of days after his equaliser against Abha in the Saudi Pro League on Saturday.
The win marked the beginning of the Roberto Martinez era as head coach of the Portugal national team. The Selecao dominated the game from start to finish.
Many people thought Martinez would not bring Ronaldo into this new era, but he has kept him as the team’s captain.
Portugal face Luxembourg next, and Ronaldo can extend his appearance record.
Ronaldo’s goal means he has scored a goal every year since 2004. He also holds the record for most international goals.
He has been in superb form in 2023, bagging 11 goals and two assists more in 11 games.
Ronaldo recently spoke about his dramatic departure from Manchester United. The club released him from his contract after he undermined them in an explosive interview and berated head coach Erik ten Hag.
However, Ronaldo said he has no time for regrets and is a better man for the experience.
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