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Ronaldo, Kane and Southgate close in on international records

As the the Euro 2024 qualification process begins there are some big names on the brink of major records and international milestones.

Ronaldo eyes all-time international record

Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to its first international triumph in the 2016 European Championships but even after a stellar career there are still milestones for him to tick off.

The 38-year-old was named in new boss Roberto Martinez’s first Portugal squad last month, ending suggestions that Ronaldo could have played his last game in international football. Martinez said of his decision: “He is very important for the team. I do not look at the age.”

Cristiano Ronaldo will look to add to Portugal record.
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Cristiano Ronaldo will look to add to Portugal record. RODRIGO ANTUNESEFE

Whether Ronaldo has earnt himself a starting berth is still unknown, but even an appearance off the bench could see him become the man with the most international appearances of all time. If he earns his 197th cap for Portugal against Liechtenstein or Luxembourg he will overtake Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa to be the outright record-holder.

He will also have a chance to his record tally of 118 international goals.

Harry Kane could break England record

The 2022 World Cup ended in heartbreak for Harry Kane with a crucial missed penalty against France. However he has been in fine scoring form for Tottenham this season and knows that a goal against either Italy or Ukraine will make him England’s all-time top goalscorer.

Harry Kane on the brink of England milestone.
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Harry Kane on the brink of England milestone. JASON CAIRNDUFFAction Images via Reuters

The England and Spurs captain currently has 53 goals in 80 international games, a tally equal to Wayne Rooney but in 40 fewer games. Aged just 29, Kane has plenty of time to add to that record and cement himself as his nation’s finest international goalscorer.

Earlier this season Kane became Tottenham’s all-time record scorer too, and will be eager to add the international accolade to his list of achievements.

Half century beckons for Gareth Southgate

Since his appointment in 2017, Gareth Southgate has overseen a series of tournament performances unlike anything in England’s modern history. With a quarter-final, semi-final and final finish under his belt, Southgate knows that the 2024 European Championship probably represents his last chance to gain sporting immortality with the national side.

His first 81 games in charge have returned a very impressive 49 wins, meaning that he stands on the brink of becoming just the third man to win 50 games as England boss. Legendary World Cup winner Sit Alf Ramsey holds the England record for fewest number of games to reach that figure (79), but Southgate could draw level with Walter Winterbottom (82) with a win over Italy on Thursday.