Ronaldo, who completed 38 years last month, played his 197th international match, surpassing Kuwaiti Bader Al-Mutawa, who participated in 196 international matches, when he carried the armband of his country’s leadership in the tenth group match in Lisbon..
Ronaldo scored a penalty kick in the 51st minute, his first ever goal against Liechtenstein, as the hosts advanced 3-0. He added the fourth goal from a free kick by Major.
Joao Cancelo had put Portugal ahead in the eighth minute with a long-range shot that changed direction, but the visiting team frustrated Portugal with its organized defense..
But right into the second half, Bernardo Silva made it 2-0.
- Ronaldo converted the penalty kick after Cancelo was fouled in the area before scoring his second own goal from a free kick in the 63rd minute as Ronaldo, who made his Portugal debut in 2003, extended his record for most goals in international football to 120..
The Portugal captain, who was replaced by the coach in the 78th minute before scoring a personal hat-trick, wasted two dangerous chances during the match..
Former Portugal coach Fernando Santos put Ronaldo on the bench in the team’s last two matches at the World Cup last year in Qatar, when Portugal bid farewell to the tournament by losing in the quarter-finals against Morocco..
Thursday witnessed the first match for the new coach, Roberto Martinez, who expressed confidence in Ronaldo’s ability to continue performing at the highest levels with his country..
“I’m always looking for sincerity and commitment,” Martinez said this week.
“Ronaldo has a great commitment to the national team and is a central figure with a wealth of experience that he can pass on to younger generations“.
- “I love breaking records,” Ronaldo said. “I’ve broken a lot of them“.
Ronaldo had scored goals against 46 different international competitors, but he had never scored against Liechtenstein before today’s match.
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