Paul Stalteri sets all-time record for national appearances

This article was last updated on April 16, 2022

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Paul Stalteri has established a new mark for appearances with Canada’s national team. The defender and long-time captain made his 83rd appearance on Tuesday 7 September, breaking the former record established by defender Randy Samuel in 1997. Stalteri established the record in the Men’s International Friendly match against Honduras at Stade Saputo in Montréal.

Prior to the match, Canadian Soccer Association president Dr. Dominic Maestracci met Stalteri on the pitch to congratulate him on the achievement. Dr. Maestracci presented Mr. Stalteri with a commemorative trophy that recognized the milestone.

Stalteri made his debut as a teenager on 17 August 1997 at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, ON. He played in the second half of an 0:1 loss to Iran. Canadian head coach Bob Lenarduzzi called Stalteri into the match, replacing starter Mauro Biello right after the half time break. Nine months later, Stalteri made his second appearance on 18 May 1998, this time as a starter up front on the attack of a 1:0 victory over FYR Macedonia.

Since 1997, Stalteri has played in one FIFA Confederations Cup (three games in 2001), three cycles of FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers (16 matches), and five CONCACAF Gold Cups (20 games). He has scored seven times, including one goal in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He helped Canada win the 2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup to qualify for the FIFA Confederations Cup Japan/Korea 2001.

Stalteri already held the record for most career starts and most minutes played, establishing both records in 2009. He led the national team in goals scored in 2003 (three) and then in minutes played in 2007 (889) and 2008 (939). He has served as captain 30 times since 25 March 2007.

Before Stalteri’s career with the full national team, Stalteri represented Canada at both the FIFA U-17 World Cup Japan 1993 and the FIFA U-20 World Cup Malaysia 1997. He helped Canada win the 1996 CONCACAF Men’s Under-20 Championship in Mexico. Including all matches at the full national, U-23, U-20 and U-17 levels, Stalteri has worn Canada’s colours for 102 international matches.

As for Randy Samuel, he made 82 appearances from 1983 to 1997. He took part in one FIFA World Cup™ (three matches in 1986), four cycles of FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers (36 matches), and two CONCACAF Gold Cups (five matches). Incidentally, he made his last appearance on 12 October 1997, two months after Stalteri made his debut.

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