Cristiano Ronaldo has achieved this Tuesday a new milestone in his laureate career when he took to the field in the clash between Iceland and Portugal in Reykjavik, in the qualifying phase for Euro 2024, which means his 200th match for his country’s national team.
The striker received recognition just before the game, when he was presented with a certificate with the record and a framed national team shirt with the number 200.
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After having made history last March by becoming the player with the most caps for a national team, Cristiano has once again enlarged his legacy with Portugal, of which he is still, at 38, the captain and greatest reference.
His journey with the absolute Portuguese began 20 years ago, when at 18 he was launched by Luiz Felipe Scolari in a friendly against Kazakhstan in August 2003.
The Brazilian coach congratulated Cristiano on his achievement and stressed that it is “a spectacular milestone” in his former player’s career and something he “was waiting for”.
“200 games with the national team, congratulations! I was waiting because I knew that nothing is difficult, nothing is different, nothing is impossible for you, Cristiano. Those 200 games are a spectacular milestone in your career,” Scolari said in a video shared on Monday by the Portuguese newspaper Record.
Cristiano, formerly of Real Madrid and currently with Saudi Al Nassr, has represented the colors of his country in five world championships and another five in Europe, one of which he won, France 2016. In addition, he has become the top scorer in history at the service of a national team, with 122 goals to date.
Despite approaching the epilogue of his career, Cristiano Ronaldo continues as a fundamental piece of Portugal, now in a new cycle directed by the Spanish Roberto Martínez.
In the press conference this Monday ahead of the clash against Iceland, Cristiano assured that continuing to break records makes him “happy” and pointed to the conquest of a new trophy with the team.
“I am reaching quite a few records and that leaves me happy and with the ambition to still want to make a lot of history for Portugal. I am hopeful that we can win even more titles”, he considered.
Regarding his future with the ‘quinas’, he was categorical: “I’ll be here until I think I have to”.
“Doing 200 international caps is not just anything. It shows the love I have for playing with the national team. I want to continue playing, bringing joy to my family, my friends, all the Portuguese, because it has been a long road but it won’t end soon “, he pointed.
For his part, at the same press conference, Roberto Martínez once again highlighted Cristiano Ronaldo’s commitment to the team he now coaches.
“When you get 50 international caps, it’s a reward for your career. When you get 100, it’s an iconic moment. And Cristiano is the first player in world football to get 200, it’s an achievement that reflects his commitment,” he defended.
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