Cristiano Ronaldo scores twice for Portugal on world-record 197th cap

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Ronaldo scores Portugal's third goal
Ronaldo scores Portugal's third goal

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his world-record 197th men’s international appearance by scoring twice as Portugal thrashed Liechtenstein in their Euro 2024 qualifying opener.

The 38-year-old has now scored a men’s record 120 international goals.

He made his international debut in 2003 and in Qatar last year became the first man to score in five World Cups.

Ronaldo added to his goals tally with a second-half penalty before finding the top corner with a free-kick.

The forward – now playing in Saudi Arabia for Al Nassr – had been frustrated in front of goal during the first period, blazing a clear-cut chance well over the bar with the hosts only having a deflected Joao Cancelo effort as a reward for their dominance.

However, Bernardo Silva doubled their advantage shortly after the restart with a low effort into the bottom corner, before Ronaldo came to the fore as he reached yet another milestone in fine fashion, while also becoming the first man to score 100 times in competitive internationals.

Ronaldo had moved level with Kuwait forward Bader Al-Mutawa on 196 caps at the World Cup but there were question marks over his international future after Portugal’s elimination by Morocco at the quarter-final stage.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner found himself dropped from the Portuguese starting XI at the tournament but justified his selection as captain in new manager Roberto Martinez’s first game in charge.

Ronaldo continues to make history

Ronaldo’s latest records only further cement his status as one of the greatest players of all time.

His glittering career has seen him win seven domestic top-flight titles, 11 other major domestic trophies, five Champions Leagues, four Club World Cups and one European Championship.

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The former Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward has also been named the Best Fifa Men’s player twice.

In November, he became the first player to score 800 top-level career goals and he also holds a host of other men’s individual records for both club and country including:

  • Most Champions League goals (140)
  • Most Champions League appearances (183)
  • Most Champions League wins (5)
  • Only player to score in three Champions League finals
  • Appeared in most European Championship finals (5)
  • Most goals in European Championship finals (14)
  • Most Euro and World Cup final goals combined (22)
  • Most international goals in world football (120)
  • Most international goals in competitive fixtures (100)
  • The first player to score 10 hat-tricks in men’s international football

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