Cristiano Ronaldo set to achieve world record he missed out at 2022 World Cup as he prepares for Euro qualifiers with Portugal

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to become the most capped player in the history of men’s international football after missing out on the record at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner came on as a substitute during his team’s shock quarterfinal loss against Morocco in Qatar. He holds the world record with Kuwait forward Badel Al-Mutawa.

Al-Mutawa, who plays for Qadsia, hasn’t been called up for Kuwait’s upcoming friendlies in Asia later this month. That will give Ronaldo the opportunity to claim the outright record when Portugal play Liechtenstein on March 23 in the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers. The Selecao will face Luxembourg three days later.

The 38-year-old is set to make his first international appearance since his January move to Al-Nassr and first under new Portugal manager Roberto Martinez. The former Manchester United forward holds the record for most goals (118) in men’s international football.

Ronaldo could now have the appearance record to himself too. Al-Mutawa, 38, hasn’t announced his retirement from international football but made his last appearance for Kuwait in June 2022.

The next active player on the list is Mexico’s Andres Guardado, who has 179 senior appearances. Portugal’s manager at the 2022 World Cup, Fernando Santos, used him as a substitute in both his team’s knockout games in Qatar.

It remains to be seen if Ronaldo will be restored to his country’s starting line-up by Martinez after starting on the bench in the last two games.

What Cristiano Ronaldo has said about playing for Portugal at Euro 2024?

Cristiano Ronaldo is set for a new record.
Cristiano Ronaldo is set for a new record.

Cristiano Ronaldo has said that he will do his level best to represent Portugal at the 2024 UEFA European Championship in Germany. At a gala hosted by the Portuguese Football Federation in September last year, Ronaldo said (h/t ESPN):

“I hope to be part of the Federation for a few more years. I still feel motivated; my ambition is high. I’m in a team with young people. I want to be part of this World Cup and the European too; I’m going to assume that right away.”

The former Real Madrid and Juventus forward captained Portugal to the UEFA Euro 2016 title and the UEFA Nations League three years later. If he make the cut for Portugal’s squad for the 2024 Euros, it will be a record sixth appearance for him in the competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo is tied for the record with Iker Casillas, who played in five UEFA European Championships with Spain.

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