Ronaldo Becomes First Male Footballer to Play 200 International Matches

Ronaldo Becomes First Male Footballer to Play 200 International Matches

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first male footballer to play 200 international matches. The 38-year-old created history in Portugal’s UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying round match against Iceland at Reykjavik’s Laugardalsvollur stadium on June 20. His 89th-minute goal helped the team win 1-0. Ronaldo was also given a Guinness World Record certificate ahead of the match to mark his achievement.

Ronaldo made his international debut in 2003. The goal against Iceland was his 123rd goal for Portugal, extending his record as the all-time leading international goalscorer.

The Al-Nassr striker already held the record for most international appearances when he surpassed the record set by Bader Al-Mutawa of Kuwait, who held the record of 196 matches, during Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Liechtenstein in March. At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he became the first male football player to score in five different World Cups.

A five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo has two major honours with Portugal, as he led his country to success at Euro 2016 and the inaugural UEFA Nations League three years later.

While Ronaldo is the record holder when it comes to men’s internationals, the overall record is held by former USWNT player and 2015 U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame inductee Kristine Lilly with 354 international appearances.