Sergio Ramos becomes all-time European international cap holder

Spain legend Sergio Ramos is closing in on becoming the most-capped player in history, and Cristiano Ronaldo has broken into the Top 10

8:00am on Sunday 15th November 2020
Robin Bairner

Sergio Ramos has become the most-capped European player in history, overtaking Gianluigi Buffon, after collecting his 177th cap in Spain's 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

It wasn't exactly an evening to remember for the Real Madrid captain, who somehow contrived to miss two penalties on the night, somewhat detracting from the occasion.

But given Ramos is showing no signs of slowing down, even at the age of 34, he is likely to add many, many more caps until he chooses to retire altogether from La Furia Roja.

The achievement was held by former Italy goalkeeper Buffon, yet the defender has surpassed it. Spain have another Nations League matches against Germany lined up next week. While is now the European record holder, he will still be someway off the world record.

Who holds the record for international caps?

Leading the way is Egypt international Ahmed Hassan on 184 caps. The former midfielder, who spent much of his professional life in Turkey, began his international career in 1995 during a friendly with Ghana and would play his last fixture for the Pharaohs in 2012.

The remainder of the top four is dominated by players from Gulf states. Oman’s Ahmed Mubarak, who is the active player with the highest number of caps, is on 179, having recently overtaken Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Al-Deayea and Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa, who are each just one back. Al-Mutawa is also active.

Top 10 international app's

1Ahmed HassanEgypt184No
2Ahmed MubarakOman179Yes
=3Mohamed Al-DeayeaSaudi Arabia178No
=3Bader Al-MutawaKuwait178Yes
5Claudio SuarezMexico177No
=5Sergio RamosSpain177Yes
7Gianluigi BuffonItaly176No
=7Hossam HassanEgypt176No
9Amer ShafiJordan173No
10Cristiano RonaldoPortugal169Yes

Rounding off the top five is Mexico legend Claudio Suarez on 177 caps before Buffon and another Egyptian, Hossam Hassan, one further back.

Jordan goalkeeper Amer Shafi comes in at ninth on the all-time list on 173 appearances while the South American record holder, Ivan Hurtado of Ecuador, completes the Top 10 on 168.

Portugal great Cristiano Ronaldo is now in the top 10 on his own after collecting his 168th cap in the defeat against France and will likely move onto 170 against Croatia later this week.

Over 500 players have won 100 caps or more for their country.

Sergio Ramos' Spain career

Sergio Ramos’ international career began in 2005 when he turned out for Spain against China in a March friendly. Aged 18 and 361 days, he was the youngest player to debut for his country in over 50 years, though Cesc Fabregas would subsequently break that mark a year later.

His first Spain goals arrived in a 6-0 win over San Marino in World Cup qualifying later that year and he has gone on to score 23 times for his nation.

He is a highly decorated international player, having established himself as a regular starter by Euro 2008, when Spain won their first major honour. That was followed up by the World Cup in 2010 and then the successful defence of their European crown in Poland and Ukraine two years later.

Although La Roja have not enjoyed the same success since, Ramos has remained a mainstay of their side and has held the position as captain since taking over from fellow Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas in 2016.

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