Cristiano Ronaldo plays 200 international games: have any other players reached that milestone?
The former Real Madrid star will reach as double century of matches for Portugal in their Euro 2024 qualifier against Iceland on Tuesday.
“I don’t chase records, records chase me”, is perhaps one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s more famous phrases. The Portuguese has, to be fair to him, set a good few over the course of his professional career, which started as a gangly, step-over loving teenager at Sporting Lisbon back in 2002. His international debut for his country came the following year and, 20 years, later, he is about to play his 200th game for Portugal.
Ronaldo will reach the milestone at Laugardalsvöllur in Reykjavik, the scene of his 25th goal for his country, which came in cap number 78 at the age of 25, all the way back in October 2010. The pace at which the former Real Madrid star has found the net has picked up considerably since then, with his 122 strikes in 199 caps making him the highest overall men’s international goalscorer in history ahead of Ali Daei, who scored 109 times for Iran between 1993 and 2006.
Who are the most capped players in the history of international soccer?
Another record that has chased that five-time Ballon d’Or winner is that of most international caps, which he only recently claimed. That particular honour was held for a long time by Malaysian midfielder Soh Chin Ann, who retired from playing in October 1984, five months before Ronaldo was even born. His record was surpassed by Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa in June last year, who held onto it for just a few months, with Ronaldo snatching it away from him on his 197th appearance for Portugal at the 2022 World Cup. Now, the Al-Nassr striker is about to become the first player in the history of soccer to make 200 international appearances.
|Soh Chin Ann||Malaysia||195|
|Mohamed Al-Deayea||Saudi Arabia||178|
Ronaldo: “I never imagined I would reach 200″
“It would be amazing to score in my 200th game”, Ronaldo told the press before the game in Iceland. “It would be excellent, but the most important thing is qualifying for the European Championships and that the team is performing well. We want to continue on the right path, we’ve played three good games so far. If I score, great, if not, the most important thing is winning. It was always a dream of mine to play for Portugal. I’m so proud to reach 200 caps, I never imagined it would happen”.
Al Nassr star not thinking of international retirement
After playing in five Euros (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020/21) and five World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, 2022), many thought that dream was over following the Portuguese’s quarter-final exit in Qatar, which brought Ronaldo to tears. But he has stuck around under new boss Roberto Martínez and, if nothing drastic happens, will smash through the 200 barrier with Euro 2024 on the horizon.
“Would I like to play more? Yes, obviously? That’s why I’m here. I’m taking each day as it comes, I think I’m still in good shape. As long as I’m motivated and I feel as if the people around me like me being involved and my leadership, I’ll be here”.