Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the spot for Portugal vs Ghana.© AFP
Cristiano Ronaldo – the man who has been in news for the better part of the last two weeks – once again made headlines on Thursday with a historic feat. All eyes were on him in Portugal’s Group H match against Ghana at the Stadium 974 and he rose up to the challenge like he has done so many times in the past. However, he achieved something on Thursday that had never been done by a male footballer earlier. In the 65th minute of the match, Cristiano Ronaldo converted from the spot to put Portugal 1-0 ahead. With that goal, Ronaldo became the first male footballer in history to score goal in five different FIFA World Cups. Ultimately, Portugal won the match by a 3-2 margin.
He overtook Pele and Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, who all scored in four World Cups. Ronaldo also extended his own world record tally of international goals to 118. The typically ice-cold spot-kick was Ronaldo’s eighth career goal at the World Cup and comes after a tumultuous week which saw the star forward make a sensational exit from Manchester United after weeks of tensions with the club.
But there was controversy surrounding the penalty, which was awarded after Ronaldo crashed theatrically to the turf following minimal contact with Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.
Andre Ayew raised hopes for Ghana with a 73rd minute equaliser but goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao ensured a winning start for the Euro 2016 champions. Osman Bukari scored a late consolation for Ghana.
Manchester United announced this week that Ronaldo will leave with immediate effect after he criticised the club and manager Erik ten Hag in a TV interview, but he has showed no signs of strain from the bitter end to his time at Old Trafford.
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All-time men’s record international goal-scorer Ronaldo lined up in his usual centre-forward position for the Group H clash, two days after he parted ways with Manchester United by mutual consent on Tuesday.
Ronaldo, 37, had spoken in a controversial interview last week, when he lashed out at Man United coach Erik ten Hag and the club itself, provoking his eventual departure.
With AFP inputs
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