In Roberto Martinez’s first game in charge, Portugal secured a 4-0 victory against Liechtenstein in Lisbon on Thursday night. Cristiano Ronaldo, who captained the team, scored a brace to help Portugal start their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign on a winning note.
Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva also scored a goal each for the hosts. Cristiano Ronaldo performed historically as he became the most capped player in men’s international football by featuring in his 197th senior game for Portugal. In addition, he became the first player to score 100 competitive international goals.
His first goal came in June 2004, and since then, he has scored 120 goals for Portugal, making him the leading scorer in the history of men’s international football. To put Ronaldo’s achievements into perspective, his 197th appearance for Portugal means he is ahead of other greats like Sergio Ramos, who has 180 senior outings for Spain, Gianluigi Buffon, who played 176 times for Italy, and Iker Casillas, who managed 167 appearances for Spain.
Ronaldo’s goals on Thursday also meant that he has scored in 20 consecutive years for Portugal. His first goal for the country came in June 2004, during the group stages of Euro 2004 on home soil. Since then, the goals have flowed for the 37-year-old veteran, who joined the Saudi side Al-Nassr in January.
When asked about his desire to break records, Ronaldo said, “Records are always positive, it’s my motivation and as you know, I like to break records. I have a lot of records, but tomorrow’s is also a special record.” With Ronaldo’s impressive form, Portugal will be hoping to secure a spot in the Euro 2024 tournament and make a strong bid for the title.