Ronaldo, Ramos, Guardado: Who has made the most appearances in international football?

Cristiano Ronaldo has now played 180 International games

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 110th and 111th goals of his international career on Wednesday evening.

The Manchester United forward netted a late brace to secure a 2-1 victory for Portugal in a 2022 World Cup qualifier versus Ireland.

Ronaldo is now the outright highest goalscorer in the history of men’s international football, the 36-year-old moving two clear of Iranian legend Ali Daei.

As well as achieving that feat, Ronaldo also equalled a record set by former Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos in the victory over Ireland.

That game was the five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s 180th for Portugal, which is now the joint-most by a European player.

With that in mind, we decided to take a look at the leading appearance makers in the history of international football.

Using Transfermarkt and Wikipedia, we’ve created an entire XI of footballers – past and present – with the most international caps.

Jules Kounde to Chelsea in January | Saul Niguez rejected Man United | Football Terrace

Let’s take a look…

Formation: 3-4-1-2

Goalkeeper | Mohammad Al-Deayea (Saudi Arabia) – 178 appearances

In four of his 13 years between the posts for Saudi Arabia, Al-Deayea made over 20 appearances, which is quite astonishing really. He was also part of the side that won the 1996 AFC Asian Cup.

Centre-back | Soh Chin Ann (Malaysia) – 222 appearances

No player in history has made more appearances on the international scene. The Malaysian icon netted 13 goals for his country and won a bronze medal at the 1974 Asian Games.

Centre-back | Sergio Ramos (Spain) – 180 appearances

One of the greatest defenders in history. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has won a World Cup and two European Championships with Spain, as well as netting 23 goals. Not bad, Sergio.

Ramos with Spain

Centre-back | Claudio Suarez (Mexico) – 179 appearances

A player fittingly nicknamed ‘The Emperor’. Suarez is widely regarded as one of Mexico’s greatest ever players and he captained his country for many years.

Right-mid | Cobi Jones (USA) – 164 appearances

Jones was a very good winger in his pomp and he represented USA at three different World Cups (1994, 1998 & 2002). The LA Galaxy legend netted 15 goals during his lengthy international career.

Centre-mid | Andres Guardado (Mexico) – 167 appearances

The Real Betis midfielder is still going strong for Mexico at the age of 34. Guardado made his debut way back in 2005 and has since gone on to score 28 goals and win four major honours, including three Gold Cups.

Guardado with Mexico

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Centre-mid | Ahmed Kano (Oman) – 182 appearances

Despite now being 36, Kano hasn’t officially retired from international duty just yet. However, his last recorded appearance for Oman came back in 2019, so perhaps he won’t be adding to his appearance tally. 

Left-mid | Juan Arango (Venezuela) – 132 appearances

Fans of European football will perhaps remember Arango from his spells at Mallorca and Borussia Monchengladbach. He scored 23 goals for his country and captained them to a fourth-place finish at the 2011 Copa America.

Attacking-mid | Ahmed Hassan (Egypt) – 184 appearances

An international legend. Hassan netted 33 goals during his 17-year playing career with Egypt and won the African Cup of Nations on four occasions. He also represented the likes of Besiktas and Anderlecht in his club career.

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Striker | Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 180 appearances

Arguably the greatest player in the history of international football. Ronaldo’s record of 111 goals may never be equalled or surpassed and he also played a key role in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph.

Striker | Bader Al Mutawa (Kuwait) – 185 appearances

The most capped active international male footballer. Mutawa first played for Kuwait back in 2003 and has since scored 56 times for his country. For his club Qadsia, he’s netted 300 goals in just 432 games.

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