Ronaldo stands for a new milestone with Portugal: “Records are my motivation”, national coach Roberto Martinez is also full of praise


Cristiano Ronaldo on Wednesday expressed his ambition to get his hands on the record number of caps for a national team. An achievement that the 38-year-old Portuguese can achieve on Thursday. Portugal, coached by former Belgian national coach Roberto Martinez, will then play a qualifying match for the European Championship 2024 against Liechtenstein.

Jens HeylenBron: BELGIAN

“Records are my motivation. I want to become the player with the most national caps in history. It would be something that would make me proud. But it doesn’t stop there, I still want to be called up very often,” said the striker at the press conference in the run-up to that match against Liechtenstein.

With a total of 196 caps, the Portuguese captain currently shares the record with Kuwaiti striker Bader Al-Mutawa. However, 38-year-old Al-Mutawa, who is still active like Ronaldo, has not been called up for his country’s upcoming friendlies against the Philippines and Tajikistan. After Liechtenstein, Portugal will face Luxembourg on Sunday.


“I am very happy to be back. I still have a lot to give to the national team,” said Ronaldo, who added that he had no “long-term plans” to possibly play at Euro 2024 and World Cup 2026.

“I look at performance”

Roberto Martinez called Ronaldo “very important”. “He is involved, experienced, has a lot of quality and is actually a kind of symbol for this team,” said the former national coach of Belgium. “I know he’s not the youngest anymore, but I don’t care. I don’t look at age, I look at performance.”

Ronaldo, who now plays for Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr, made his first appearance for Portugal in a friendly against Kazakhstan in August 2003. He has played in every major international tournament since Euro 2004. The Portuguese is already the world’s top scorer for the national team with 118 goals and can now add a second impressive record.

© AP

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