Wolves man Rui Patricio has targeted more games for his country after becoming Portugal’s record appearance holder for a goalkeeper – and says he’s improved since moving to Molineux.
The 31-year-old celebrated the double whammy of the new milestone of 81 caps and winning the Nations League – and kept a clean sheet in the final as Portugal beat the Netherlands 1-0 in Porto.
Patricio, who signed for Wolves last summer at a cost of £15m, overtook Porto legend Vitor Baia, who was capped 80 times, appearing at Euro 96, Euro 2000 and at the 2002 World Cup. His record had stood for 17 years.
“It’s a source of pride because I’m representing my country,” said Patricio. “I was waiting to get to this number – fortunately, I did. That’s a pretty good number. I hope to continue to evolve and contribute to the national team.
“Representing my country was a goal that I had since I was a little boy. Every day I work and fortunately I have reached a very good number.”
Patricio, along with Wolves team-mate Joao Moutinho, has won both Portugal’s major honours after also being part of the squad that won Euro 2016.
The former Sporting Lisbon keeper believes he has improved since he has been at Wolves, because he has adapted to a different league. He appeared in all but one of the 38 Premier League games in 2018-19 and kept eight of the club’s nine clean sheets, a club record in the Premier League.
“Every match, every training session is an opportunity for me to evolve and to improve,” he said. “So, at the end of my first year here, I’ve noticed some rapid growth because it’s a new competition, everything is completely different.
“The game is different, the tactics are different, the technique is different. It’s been a very good experience. I take advantage of every game and of every training session to grow, to evolve.
“I will continue to do that. In every training session, I want to develop. I’m happy with the initial phase that I’ve had here. Of course, I’m very happy to be doing well but I still want to do better. I want to adapt further.”