Ranked! 7 Most Capped Players in Men Football as Ronaldo Sets Unprecedented Record

Ranked! 7 Most Capped Players in Men Football as Ronaldo Sets Unprecedented Record

Isaac Darko
June 20, 2023 at 7:18 PM
  • Being called up to represent your national team is widely seen as the biggest honour of all
  • More than 600 players have reached a century of games for their countries
  • Here are the seven most capped international players in men's football history

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first male footballer to play 200 international matches during Portugal's European Championship qualifier away to Iceland on Tuesday.

The Portugal captain, who made his international debut in 2003, achieved the milestone at Reykjavik's Laugardalsvollur stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bader Al-Mutawa, Soh Chin Ann, Ahmed Mubarak, Ahmed Hassan, most capped players in men football
Here are the seven most capped international players in men's football history. Credit: @espnfc
Source: Twitter

As reported by ESPN, Ronaldo is the leading scorer in men's international football with 122 goals.

The Al Nassr forward is the only man ever to have played in five European Championship tournaments.

Sports Brief has ranked the seven most capped international players in men's football history.

7. Andres Guardado, Mexico (179)

At the World Cup 2022, Guardado overtook Claudio Suarez as the sole record-holder in Mexico or North America, Diario AS cited.

The 36-year-old veteran midfielder plays for Real Betis on the club level and still remains an integral part of the Mexico setup.

Ricardo La Volpe, the manager at the time, invited Guardado into the international fold only four months after he made his name at Atlas.

His sixth World Cup in Qatar brought the 177-cap star up to par with fellow countrymen Rafa Marquez, Antonio Carbajal, and Lothar Matthaus and Gigi Buffon.

He eventually surpassed them all with a pre-tournament friendly appearance against Sweden and added another against Argentina in Qatar, too.

6. Sergio Ramos, Spain (180)

Despite his return to form and fitness at PSG, Ramos was not guaranteed a place in Spain’s squad for Qatar.

Luis Enrique did not take him to the European Championship last summer and the FIFA World Cup in Qatar last November.

In February this year, the 36-year-old called time on a star-studded international career spanning nearly 18 years.

A World Cup winner in 2010 and European champion in 2008 and 2012, Ramos retired as Spain's most capped player, but he places sixth in the all-time record book for men's national team players.

5. Ahmed Mubarak, Oman (183)

The Omani journeyman has played for no less than 14 clubs in his homeland, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE. Mubarak amassed 183 caps for Kuwait before calling it quits on his international career in 2019.

The pinnacle of the midfielder’s career with Oman came at the 2017/18 Gulf Cup when Al-Ahmar won the tournament on foreign soil for the first time.

By the time he eventually bowed out, Ahmed Mubarak was just 17 appearances shy of the 200 mark.

4. Ahmed Hassan, Egypt (184)

Hassan, a legendary character in Egyptian football, represented his country at eight editions of the Africa Cup of Nations, and in exactly half of those competitions, he was a member of the winning side.

The Pharaohs were crowned kings of the continent in 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2010, with Hassan playing a starring role in each success.

No player has won more African Cup of Nations than the 184-cap midfielder, whose only regret is a failure to appear at a World Cup.

3. Soh Chin Ann, Malaysia (195)

In the history of international football, only two players have amassed more caps than Soh Chin Ann, who may not be well-known outside of Malaysia.

Only 12 years after the nation's independence from Britain, the central defender made his senior team debut in 1969.

Soh represented Malaysia at the 1972 Olympics, and eight years later, at the Asian Cup, he helped his team earn a famous 1-1 draw against South Korea.

By the time he called time on his international career in 1984, Soh had made 195 appearances for Malaysia.

2. Bader Al-Mutawa, Kuwait (196)

Still going strong as he celebrated his 38th birthday in January, Al-Mutawa is in pole position to reach 200 caps.

At the age of just 18, Al-Mutawa began his international career in 2003.

Since then, he has played almost continuously for Kuwait, contributing to the nation's 2010 Gulf Cup victory and third-place finish on the all-time scoring record with just 56 goals.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal (200)

Twenty years have passed since Cristiano Ronaldo, the 38-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or recipient debuted for his national team against Kazakhstan in a warm-weather match. Now he is making his 200th appearance for Portugal.

Since then, he has established milestones for both the greatest number of goals scored and the most matches in men’s international football. He has also helped his nation win the European Championship and Nations League.

And most recently, when Portugal played Iceland in a Euro 2024 qualification match, he recorded his 200th appearance for the team.

The five-time Ballon d’Or hero has also been vying for the record for most international appearances, which he just recently achieved.

Now playing in Saudi Arabia for Al-Nassr, Ronaldo still doesn't look like packing in the national team anytime soon, so this record will likely only be extended over the coming months - and even years.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Editor- La Liga I Bundesliga I French Ligue
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