Wednesday, 19 Jun 2024

What is a Cap in Soccer?

As nations like England, Argentina, and Brazil debate over their national team tournament squads, the term “cap” is frequently used to compare the chances of different players. But what exactly does it mean in soccer?

Exploring the Concept of a Cap

Contrary to popular belief, the physical cap has not disappeared from the modern game. While it may be less common, some places still adhere to this tradition.

Earning a Cap in Soccer

Soccer players earn caps through specific guidelines outlined by FIFA. These include games played in FIFA World Cups, qualifying competitions, continental competitions, friendly matches between national teams, and even Olympic matches. With numerous opportunities available, international players can accumulate a significant number of caps.

The Most Capped Players in Soccer

Association football has a rich history, and over the years, many players have achieved a remarkable number of international caps. Below are just a few notable examples:

Men’s Soccer

  1. Bader Al-Mutawa (Kuwait) – 196 caps, still active.
  2. Soh Chin Ann (Malaysia) – 195 caps, retired.
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – 191 caps, still active.
  4. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt) – 184 caps, retired.
  5. Ahmed Mubarak (Oman) – 180 caps, still active.
  6. Sergio Ramos (Spain) – 180 caps, still active.
  7. Andrés Guardado (Mexico) – 179 caps, still active.
  8. Mohamed Al-Deayea (Saudi Arabia) – 178 caps, retired.
  9. Claudio Sánchez (Mexico) – 177 caps, retired.
  10. Maynor Figueroa (Honduras) – 175 caps, still active.
Tham Khảo Thêm:  Azerbaijani Football Stadiums

Women’s Soccer

  1. Kristine Lilly (United States) – 354 caps, retired.
  2. Christine Sinclair (Canada) – 319 caps, still active.
  3. Carli Lloyd (United States) – 316 caps, retired.
  4. Christie Pearce (United States) – 311 caps, retired.
  5. Mia Hamm (United States) – 276 caps, retired.
  6. Julie Foudy (United States) – 274 caps, retired.
  7. Abby Wambach (United States) – 255 caps, retired.
  8. Joy Fawcett (United States) – 241 caps, retired.
  9. Formiga (Brazil) – 234 caps, still active.
  10. Caroline Seger (Sweden) – 232 caps, still active.

These players have made significant contributions to their national teams and have etched their names in soccer history.


How does a player earn a cap in soccer?

Players earn caps by participating in various types of games, including FIFA World Cups, qualifying competitions, continental competitions, friendly matches between national teams, and Olympic matches.

Can a player earn a cap for multiple teams?

No, a player can only earn a cap for one national team. Switching national teams would require a player to start anew in terms of earning caps.

Who has the most caps in soccer?

The record for the most caps in men’s soccer is held by Bader Al-Mutawa of Kuwait, with 196 caps. For women’s soccer, Kristine Lilly of the United States holds the record with an incredible 354 caps.


In conclusion, a cap in soccer refers to the number of international matches a player has represented their national team in. It is a measure of a player’s experience and contribution to their country’s footballing history. From legendary players like Cristiano Ronaldo to trailblazers like Kristine Lilly, these players have left an indelible mark on the beautiful game. To learn more about soccer, explore our website for informative content on tactics, history, and influential figures in the sport. Join us in celebrating the world’s most popular sport!

Tham Khảo Thêm:  2. Bundesliga Stadiums & Stats