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Ronaldo set to break a historic record Messi is unlikely to ever touch

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi
© Ace Football

His European club football days may be over, but CR7 is still far from done when it comes to rewriting the history books.

Cristiano Ronaldo will become the most-capped international men’s footballer in history if he plays in Portugal’s upcoming game on Thursday against Liechtenstein.

According to the Guinness World Records, Ronaldo is level with Bader Al-Mutawa on 196 caps. He equaled the Kuwait legend’s record in Portugal’s 1-0 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Morocco in December.

Incidentally, Ronaldo and Al-Mutawa are both 38 years of age. The latter still plays in Kuwait for Qadsia SC as a striker. He last featured for the national team in a 3-0 Asian Cup qualifying defeat to Jordan in June 2022.

Therefore, if Ronaldo plays in this current break, the Portugal skipper will become the sole record-holder for the most games played in men’s international football.

By doing so, Ronaldo will have a record that Lionel Messi may never match. The Argentina captain has 172 caps to his name so far. However, having now won everything with the national team, doubts are creeping in over the 35-year-old’s long-term international future.

At the time of writing, Portugal are the clear favorites to beat Liechtenstein, with the odds going as low as 1.00. This implies there is a 100% chance of Roberto Martinez winning his first game as the national team manager. For his squad list, the Spaniard has selected Ronaldo.