Sunday, November 27, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo is the first man in history to score in five World Cups

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Ronaldo scores his eighth World Cup goal, securing another piece of history to end a tumultuous week off the pitch

Portugal 3-2 Ghana (Ronaldo 65′, Felix 78′, Leao 80′ | A Ayew 73′, Bukari 89′)

Cristiano Ronaldo put his club troubles behind when he became the first man in history to score from a penalty against Ghana in five different World Cups.

In the week that Manchester United amicably terminated his contract following his controversial interview with Piers Morgan, the striker opened the scoring from the penalty spot in Portugal’s first game in Qatar after being challenged by Mohammed Salisu.

Much emphasis has been placed on Qatar’s relatively low attendance, but a recognizable “siuuu” could be heard from the stands of Stadium 974 in Doha.

Ronaldo’s most recent record is barely matched by Lionel Messi, who was a top scorer in Argentina’s 2-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia on Tuesday but failed to score at South Africa 2010 – and has netted in just four World Cups.

The only player who can match Ronaldo’s performance is Brazilian women’s legend Marta, who scored in her fifth World Cup in 2019.

Ronaldo’s goal brings his total World Cup tally to eight, having scored once at tournaments in 2006, 2010 and 2014 and a further four in Russia 2018.

The 37-year-old is also the oldest player to score for a European country at a World Cup finals and the second oldest of any nation behind Roger Milla, who scored for Cameroon aged 42.

His penalty was not without controversy, however, as it went down after a relatively easy contact from Salisu.

“It looks like a jump to me,” continued former England defender Matthew Upson BBC Radio 5 Live. “There’s a bit of contact, but not enough there to knock him down safely?”

Ghana struck back through Andre Ayew – something of a local in some ways as the former West Ham and Swansea striker now plays for Qatar Stars League club Al Sadd.

The Black Stars were level for just five minutes after Bruno Fernandes set up goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao.

With Ronaldo substituted – no storming through the tunnel this time, as Erik ten Hag will note – Portugal appeared to have ended the game, although Osman Bukari’s header to make it 3-2 slipped a nervous end that Inaki Williams failed to capitalize on when he got on target after a mistake by Diogo Costa.

After the final whistle, there was another surreal moment. Bukari had mimicked Ronaldo’s signature ‘Siuu’ celebration after scoring for Ghana, which seemed to anger the Portuguese striker on the bench. The 23-year-old nevertheless asked Ronaldo for his jersey full-time.

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