LISBON (Reuters) -Cristiano Ronaldo set a new record for the most international caps as Portugal played Liechtenstein on Thursday and celebrated the milestone with a record-extending goal.
Ronaldo, who turned 38 last month, won his 197th cap, surpassing Kuwait's Bader Al-Mutawa, as he returned to the starting line-up and captained his country in their Euro 2024 Group J qualifier at the Jose Alvalade Stadium.
He converted a 51st-minute penalty – his first goal against the tiny Alpine principality – as the home side went 3-0 up after being only one goal ahead at the break.
It extended Ronaldo's record for the most goals in international football to 119, although he had earlier missed gilt-edged chances when he skied the ball in front of goal and glanced a header wide.
"I like to break records, I have broken lot of records," he told reporters on the eve of Thursday’s match, which marked the first game in charge of new Portugal coach Roberto Martinez.
"I look for commitment," said Martinez. "And Ronaldo has huge commitment to the national team, is a major figure for it, and has experience he can pass on."
Ronaldo had been benched by former coach Fernando Santos for their final two games at last year's World Cup in Qatar where Portugal lost in the quarter-finals to Morocco.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town and Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris and Ed Osmond)