Cristiano Ronaldo faces Roberto Martinez’s 200th international match with Portugal: “Will never turn his back on national selection”

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Cristiano Ronaldo will play his 200th international match for Portugal on Tuesday, a European Championship qualifier away from Iceland. The 38-year-old striker does not intend to stop there. “I will never turn my back on the national selection,” he said in Reykjavik on Monday.

“If I don’t play for Portugal anymore, it will be because I’m not selected anymore. I’m not going to say goodbye voluntarily. After all, defending the colors of my country has always been a dream. Playing two hundred international matches is not for everyone. It shows how great the love for my country and the Seleçao is.”

In March, Ronaldo already became the footballer with the most caps to his name with his 197th international match against Liechtenstein. Bader Al-Mutawa of Kuwait has since held the record. With 122 goals, Ronaldo is also the player who scored most often for his country. “It would be nice if I made another one in my 200th international match. I don’t chase records, the records chase me. It does motivate me to keep acting at the highest level. I never dreamed that I would achieve all this.”

© EPA-EFE

Since Roberto Martinez took the helm of Portugal, Ronaldo has played all qualifying matches so far. He thanked the former national coach by scoring twice against Liechtenstein (4-0) and Luxembourg (6-0). He also made the nets shake against Bosnia (3-0), but his goal was disallowed for offside.

Martinez already confirmed that his star player, who started working for the Saudi Al-Nassr in January, will also kick off against Iceland. “It will be a celebration,” said the Spaniard. “A player with 200 caps, that is unique. Portugal can rightly be proud of him.”

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