Cristiano Ronaldo started Portugal’s first Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein on Thursday and set a new world record for most international caps.
Cristiano Ronaldowho turned 38 last month, won his 197th cap, overtaking the Kuwaiti Bader Al-Mutawaas his country’s captain in the Group J qualifier in Lisbon.
Ronaldo had been left on the bench by the former coach Fernando Santos for the team’s final two matches at last year’s World Cup in Qatar, where the Portugal lost in the quarter-finals against Morocco.
Thursday was the new coach’s first game Robert Martinezwho had expressed confidence in the ability of Ronaldo to continue playing for his country.
“I am looking for commitment”, Martinez said this week. “And Ronaldo has invested a lot in the national team, he is a major figure and he has experience that he can pass on.
Ronaldo, who made his debut for Portugal in 2003, also holds the world record for most goals in men’s international football with 118.
“I like to break records, I have broken many”, did he declare.
Ronaldo scored against 46 different international opponents, but never against Liechtenstein.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town and Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Writing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)