It is not easy to get numerous caps in a EURO. Up until now there was a maximum of seven games to be played per tournament. Nevertheless, the current record holder could improve his already existing record again in 2021. We look at the players with the most appearances at European championships.
Cristiano Ronaldo (21 Games)
None has won more European Championship matches (11) than the Portuguese superstar who is no doubt football’s Mr. Europe. There are also some EURO 2020 betting offers that can be found on the betting preview pages for the tournament on overlyzer.com for Ronaldo to be capped 25 times or more after the tournament of 2021, which would be a breath-taking and hard-to-overtake record.
Ronaldo is tied with Michel Platini for the most goals in history (nine) and would realistically beat that given he has scored at every Euros. The 36-year-old also has the joint-most appearances (two) in a final and could go clear this summer with Portugal.
Can the Juventus man score the seven goals which would make him the all-time record goal-scorer in international football? You can’t put it past the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Bastian Schweinsteiger (18 Games)
Germany’s fourth most-capped player is one of the greatest midfielders of all time who appeared at a record four European Championships.
Boundless energy, intelligence and superb technical ability epitomized Schweini’s longevity with Die Mannschaft as he famously won the World Cup in 2014.
He was always there and wore his heart on his sleeve. The appearance records of the ‘football god’ in Germany will take some beating.
Gianluigi Buffon (17 Games)
The evergreen Italy legend holds the record for the most Euros appearances including qualifiers (58) and is the second most-capped European international player ever.
One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time holds the most appearances as captain in the Euros (13) as he spanned four tournaments. Buffon also has the joint-fewest goals conceded at a tournament (1 goal)
Another incredible record of Buffon’s Euro career is that he shares the most penalty shootout saves with Iker Casillas (three). A bonafide Italian great and one of European football’s best-ever.
Cesc Fabregas (16 Games)
The Spanish pass-master has over 100 caps for La Roja and the most assists for the national team with 33. Fabregas made his debut in 2006 as Spain’s youngest player for 70 years.
During his time, the technically-gifted midfielder was a key figure in Spain’s European Championship victories in 2008 and 2012. His creativity and vision was key to splitting defences aplenty during Spain’s Golden Era of three successive tournament victories from 2008-2012.
Fabregas earned two nominations in the European Championships Team of The Tournament on two occasions as well as the UEFA Team of The Year.
One of the best players of his generation, Iniesta will be best-remembered for the winning goal at the 2010 World Cup; but his wizardry helped Spain win consecutive Euros either side of that global achievement.
Tied with Ronaldo and ex-Barcelona teammate, Fabregas, for the most wins (11) in the tournament; Iniesta was magnificent in the 2012 Final against Italy, winning the Man of The Match award and Player of The Tournament.
The Spain legend was also inducted into the All-time UEFA Euro XI and has won the most Man of The Match awards in Euros history (six).
The most-capped player in the history of the French National Team was an integral part of France’s triumph at Euro 2000, which led to the team being ranked as world number one from 2001–2002.
A key player throughout his 14-year international career, Thuram’s efforts 21 years ago contributed to him being nominated for the Team of The Tournament.
The ex-Parma and Juventus man’s tenacity and reading of the game was best summed up in his longevity for Les Blues. His finest moment for France, however, came when he heroically scored a brace (his only international goals) against Croatia to set up a victorious final date at the 1998 World Cup.
Edwin van der Sar (16 games)
A veteran of four Euros tournaments, Van Der Sar was a commanding and impenetrable presence for Oranje.
The second-most capped player in Dutch football history made his mark but never lifted silverware. His composure, organization and longevity made him a reliable outlet between the sticks as The Netherlands toiled to no avail at international tournaments.
One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time appeared in the Team of The Tournament in 2008