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Who are the most capped international players of all time

There have been plenty of stalwarts on the international scene

With international matches far less frequent than club games, managing to win cap after cap, year upon year, is quite the achievement.

Over 600 players have reached the 100 cap mark for their respective countries, but some have gone far further. These are the 10 players in World Football with the most caps in International football.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 196

At the top of this list, as he is so many others, is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese veteran, now 38-years-old, is both the record goalscorer and record appearance holder at international level, and has experienced overwhelming success across his 20 year career at the top.

A Euro2016 win crowned an epic international career, and even now playing in Saudi Arabia, he remains a force for his country.

=1. Bader Al-Mutawa (Kuwait) – 196

Until very recently the record holder, Kuwait’s Bader Al Mutawa has been a stalwart at both club and international level in the Gulf.

Usually a striker, he, like Ronaldo, is still going strong at 38-years-old and has managed 56 goals for Kuwait in his 196 outings.

3. Soh Chin Ann (Malaysia) – 195

From attack to defence, Soh Chin Ann never left Malaysia during his playing career, except to play international games for his country.

Racking up 195 caps as a centre-back during the 1970s and 80s, he even found the net 13 times as he helped Malaysia qualify for the 1990 Olympic games, though they ultimately boycotted it.

4. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt) – 184

Widely regarded as one of the best players in African football history, Ahmed Hassan is an Egyptian icon. Named the best player at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, Hassan had spells with Anderlecht and Besiktas as well as clubs in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

He won AFCON on four occasions including 2006, the most of any player in history, before eventually rounding off a glittering career in 2012.

5. Ahmed Mubarak (Oman) – 183

Still featuring at club level but no longer donning Oman’s strip on the international stage, Ahmed Mubarak’s CV at international level was quite impressive across a period of sixteen years representing the Gulf state. With multiple goals against Asian powerhouse Japan, as well as a strike against Tunisia, the defensive-midfield stalwart did not shy away from big moments or even bigger opponents.

6. Sergio Ramos (Spain) – 180

Another former Real Madrid player, Sergio Ramos only retired from international football in February 2023 after being told he wasn’t going to feature under the new Spain boss.

But, what a career he enjoyed, winning a World Cup, two European Championships and scoring 23 times in a career that began all the way back in 2005.

Despite his reputation for getting in trouble with the referee, the Spaniard was interestingly never once sent off in his 180 cap career, and became a key cog of La Roja side for almost two decades.

7. Andrés Guardardo (Mexico) – 179*

One of two Mexican internationals on this list, Andrés Guardado is still plying his trade both at club level and for El Tri at the time of writing. Currently on the books at Rela Betis, Guardado was once again seen at the World Cup this past winter; the fifth on his CV. Ever-reliable and incredibly versatile, his longevity on the international stage cannot be denied.

8. Mohamed Al-Deayea (Saudi Arabia) – 178

For Mohamed Al-Deayea, goalkeeping ran in the family. His older brother, Abdullah, was a highly-respected shot-stopper for Saudi Arabia between 1984-90 and a two-time Asian Cup winner. Mohammed would go on to eclipse his brother’s achievements both at the club and international level, winning four regional honors across a fourteen-year career.

9. Claudio Suárez (Mexico) – 177

For fourteen years, center-back stalwart Claudio Suárez, nicknamed El Emperador, Mexico’s rock in the heart of defence had seen it all and done it all at club level across four very credible stints in domestic football. The three-time Gold Cup winner meant the world to the national team and was so often a scourge of El Tri’s bitter rival, the United States.

10. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) – 176

For many, Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon is not just the best keeper in the history of Italian football, but possibly the European game as well; up there with the likes of Lev Yashin and Sepp Maier. Across an international career that spanned 22 years, the Carrara-born shot-stopper remained his nation’s most reliable performer on the pitch. A true testament to the art of goalkeeping.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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