Against Liechtenstein, Cristiano Ronaldo has become the most capped player in history (197 selections), and it is certainly not the match that will leave the strongest mark of his career. But he added two more goals to his stratospheric total in the national team, now established at 120. A successful evening therefore, until his replacement in the 78th minute by Gonçalo Ramos under the ovation of the José Alvalade stadium, that of Sporting Portugal.
At the forefront of the 3-4-3 established by the new coach, Roberto Martinez, the five-time Ballon d’Or, first touched the ball little, stuck in the very withdrawn block of the visiting team, as ambitious as the indicates its FIFA ranking (198th nation). This first day of qualifying for Euro 2024 very early resembled a game of handball in which only one team would occupy the camp of the other, which did not risk endangering the only beginner of the evening, the central defender Gonçalo Inacio (Sporting Portugal).
Acceleration after the break
The Al Nr star sent his recovery over on his first opportunity, after controlling a serve from Cancelo (23rd) with his chest, author of the opener a quarter of an hour earlier. Then, he did not frame his head (34th), as Bruno Fernandes (30th) and Palhinha (38th) missed the target, by about twenty meters. But everything accelerated after the break: the first game in a successful triangle on the right side between Bernardo Silva, Cancelo and Bruno Fernandes, resulted in the second goal, signed Bernardo Silva as soon as the recovery (47th).
Behind, Ronaldo scored his 119th international goal in the 51st, on a penalty caused by Cancelo, while the public chanted the name of the Madeiran even before the transformation. The time to be denied a goal for offside in the 57th, on a discount from Joao Félix, CR7 scored twice with a free kick from the entrance to the surface (4-0, 63rd).