The XI of European legends with most international appearances including Cristiano Ronaldo, Ramos and Buffon

CRISTIANO RONALDO is closing in on yet another football record.

The Juventus star, 35, played in all three of Portugal's matches during the international break.

Ronaldo scored in the 7-0 friendly win over Andorra – taking his international goals tally to 102.

He also played the Nations League double-header against France – losing 1-0 – and Croatia, winning 3-2.

During the fortnight away from club duty, Ronaldo took his international caps total to 170.

Ronaldo is now just EIGHT caps away from equalling the international record amongst European players.

But who leads the way? We take a look at the most-capped European XI ever…

GK – Gianluigi Buffon

Nation: Italy

Caps: 176

EUROPE'S longest-serving goalkeeper, Buffon broke into Italy's senior set-up in 1997, but didn't feature at a major tournament until Euro 2000.

Buffon was second-choice to Gianluca Pagliuca at the 1998 World Cup.

The Juventus legend went on to play 176 times for his country between 1997 and 2018, helping his nation win the 2006 World Cup.

Spain's Iker Casillas is the second most-capped European goalkeeper – featuring 167 times for Spain.

CB – Sergio Ramos

Nation: Spain

Caps: 178

RAMOS made his senior Spain debut in 2005, aged just 18, after helping his nation win the Under-19s European Championships in 2004.

The Real Madrid legend has since gone on to play 178 times – and counting – winning three major tournaments in a row between 2008 and 2012.

Ramos is the most-capped European player of all-time, and aged just 34, he's still going strong.

Most-recently, he played in Tuesday night's 6-0 Nations League mauling of Germany.

CB – Lothar Matthaus

Nation: Germany

Caps: 150

MATTHAUS made his Germany debut in 1980 and was a key cog in their machine all the way up until 2000.

The Bayern Munich legend played exactly 150 times for his country.

In that time, Matthaus won Euro 1980 and the 1990 World Cup in Italy – but was not part of his nation's Euro 1996 winners after a feud with Jurgen Klinsmann and then-coach Berti Vogts.

However, after being called up again in 1998, he equalled the world record for most World Cups attended, at five.

CB – Lilian Thuram

Nation: France

Caps: 142

THURAM played for France between 1994 and 2008 during his illustrious career.

The Juventus legend helped his nation win the 1998 World Cup on home soil – scoring both goals in the 2-1 semi-final win over Croatia.

Incredibly, those were Thuram's ONLY two goals in his 142 caps.

Thuram also helped France win Euro 2000 and also played in the 2006 World Cup final, losing to Italy.

CDM – Anatoliy Tymoshchuk

Nation: Ukraine

Caps: 144

TYMOSHCHUK made his Ukraine debut in 2000 and would enjoy a stellar 16-year international career.

The Zenit and Bayern legend played 144 times in all, most-notably starring as his nation reached the World Cup quarter-finals in 2006.

In 2011, he was voted Ukraine's best-ever player – beating Andriy Shevchenko – before retiring in 2016.

CDM – Anders Svensson

Nation: Sweden

Caps: 148

SVENSSON enjoyed a 14-year career with Sweden, racking up 148 caps.

The Elfsborg legend – who spent four years at Southampton – made his debut in 1999.

He retired in 2013 after his nation failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup – but previously played in five major tournaments and briefly captained his country.

CM – Martin Reim

Nation: Estonia

Caps: 157

BETWEEN 2007 and 2009, Estonia legend Reim was the most-capped European player of all-time.

Reim played 157 times for his country between 1992 and 2009 in an incredible 17-year span.

He never made it to an international tournament – meaning Reim is also the most-capped player to have never played in a major competition.

CM – Vitalijs Astafjevs

Nation: Latvia

Caps: 167

IN a remarkable 18-year span, Astafjevs racked up 167 caps for Latvia – overtaking Reim for the title of most-capped European star.

Unlike Reim, Astafjevs did play at a major tournament, captaining Latvia at Euro 2004.

He retired after a friendly match with China in 2010 – with his European record for most caps not broken until Buffon overtook him in March 2017.

RW – Robbie Keane

Nation: Republic of Ireland

Caps: 146

IN 1998, Keane helped Ireland's Under-18s win the European Championship – making his senior debut the same year.

The Tottenham legend went on to play 146 times for Ireland over 18 years.

In that time, Keane played at the 2002 World Cup, as well as Euro 2012 and Euro 2016 – but played just 23 minutes in his final tournament.

In 2011, Keane scored twice in his nation's win over Macedonia to become the first British or Irish player to reach the 50-goal tally, ultimately ending up with 68 international goals.

ST – Miroslav Klose

Nation: Germany

Caps: 137

KLOSE spent 13 years in Germany's first-team set-up scoring 71 times in 137 games.

The ex-Bayern Munich ace burst onto the international scene at the 2002 World Cup, scoring FIVE headed goals, finishing as joint-top scorer.

Klose helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup, finishing as a runner-up in 2002 – as well as a Euro 2008.

Germany never lost a game in which Klose scored, with the striker holding the record for most World Cup goals in history, with 16.

LW – Cristiano Ronaldo

Nation: Portugal

Caps: 170

RONALDO is the second top goalscorer in international history, behind only Iran legend Ali Daei.

In his 170 caps, Ronaldo has scored 102 goals and helped his side win Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League.

The ex-Real Madrid and Manchester United legend will now hope to become Europe's top appearance maker as well as goal-scorer.

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