Harry Kane and Cristiano Ronaldo achieved record breaking feats with their national teams on Friday as the Euro 2024 qualifiers got off to a thrilling start.
While Kane became England’s all-time leading scorer with 54 goals, Ronaldo set a new record of international appearances with his 197th cap for Portugal and the 38-year old marked the occasion with two well taken goals.
Ronaldo is also Portugal’s all-time leading scorer.
At the Diego Maradona Stadium in Naples, England’s Three Lions secured a historic victory on Italian soil for the first time in 61 years as they beat the Azzurri 2-1 on Friday night in their opening group game of the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Gareth Southgate’s side shot into the lead just 14 minutes into the game through Declan Rice before captain Kane stroked home a 44th-minute penalty to overtake Wayne Rooney on the all-time goals scorers sheet.
Mateo Retegui netted the Italians’ goal on the Argentina-born striker’s debut for his new country 10 minutes after the break, but despite late pressure and Luke Shaw being sent off with 10 minutes left, the Azzurri couldn’t snatch a point in a repeat of the Euro 2020 final.
For Ronaldo and his Portugal teammates, it was much easier as they trounced Liechtenstein 4-0
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.
Ronaldo joined the goals feast as he converted a 51st-minute penalty to help Portugal go 3-0 up after being only one goal ahead at the break.
He then scored a free-kick on 63 minutes to add a fourth for the hosts in Lisbon.
In some of the other Friday games, Northern Ireland beat San Marino 2-0 while Denmark trounced Finland 3-1.
North Macedonia also beat Malta 2-1 and Slovenia secured an identical score line away to Kazakhstan.