"At his best, he's unstoppable," says Luís Figo, with Cristiano Ronaldo having drawn level with his predecessor's Portugal appearance record – the two icons pay tribute to one other.
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Cristiano Ronaldo has equalled Luís Figo's record of 127 caps for Portugal after being named in the starting XI for their UEFA EURO 2016 opener against Iceland.
Luís Figo on Cristiano Ronaldo ...
Ronaldo is a very important player for the national team. He's one of the best players in the world and the most expensive player ever. When he's at his best, he's unstoppable. I don't agree when people say he plays better for Real Madrid than for Portugal because it's completely different playing for your club than for your national team. Everything he's accomplished for Portugal proves his qualities and how he gives his all when he wears the Portuguese shirt.
If you're the most important player, then of course there's pressure. I think he can manage it because he's been playing at a high level all his life. He's used to having to give his best in every game, and needing to score and make the difference.
Cristiano Ronaldo on Luís Figo ...
When I was a child I always sought a big reference point in the Portugal national team, and the reference points were Figo, Rui Costa and Fernando Couto. I dreamt of reaching their level and used to say to myself: 'I want to be a professional player like them and play for the national team.'
Former Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari ...
When Ronaldo made it into the national team for the first time, the first one to help him was Luís Figo. He was the first to challenge Ronaldo to dribble and shoot, to score as many goals as he could, to impose his style of play and always work harder to become a better player. Figo used to tell him: 'Son, try again, keep trying. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, I'm here to give you a hand and if you make a mistake it's OK, so take it easy. But you must never stop trying.'
Most appearances for Portugal
127 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2003–)
127 – Luís Figo (1991 to 2006)
110 – Fernando Couto (1990 to 2004)
97 – Nani (2006 to 2016)
94 – Rui Costa (1993 to 2004)
Most goals for Portugal
58 – Cristiano Ronaldo (2003–)
47 – Pauleta (1997 to 2006)
41 – Eusébio (1961 to 1973)
32 – Luís Figo (1991 to 2006)
29 – Nuno Gomes (1996 to 2011)