After latest milestone, Ronaldo eyes World Cup glory

November 28, 2022
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts while listening to the Portugal’s national anthem prior the start of the World Cup Group H football match against Ghana at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar on Thursday. Portugal won 3-2.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts while listening to the Portugal’s national anthem prior the start of the World Cup Group H football match against Ghana at the Stadium 974 in Doha, Qatar on Thursday. Portugal won 3-2.

DOHA, Qatar (AP):

Another game, another personal milestone. For all the turmoil that has surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of what is likely to be his final World Cup, the Portugal great is still making his mark.

On Thursday, he became the first man to score in five World Cups.

Earlier this season, he registered the 700th club goal of his career.

Not bad for a 37-year-old, who doesn't know where he will be playing beyond Qatar after having his Manchester United contract terminated in the wake of his incendiary interview criticising manager Erik ten Hag and the club's owners.

A win against Uruguay today would secure Portugal's qualification from Group H to the knock-out stages with a game to spare after their opening 3-2 win against Ghana.

"This is just the beginning," Ronaldo said in an Instagram post, adding that "there are no impossibilities".

If football's ultimate numbers man is to achieve his ambition of lifting the one major trophy that eludes him, he can't do it alone.

That much was clear against Ghana when Portugal also needed goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao to hold on for the victory.

Felix is the likeliest heir to Ronaldo's throne as Portugal's inspiration-in-chief, and has even been linked with a potential move to United.

If Qatar is Ronaldo's last World Cup dance, the moves aren't quite as fluid as they once were.

His goal against Ghana came from the penalty spot, rather than a moment of the type of individual brilliance on which his career has been built.

That being said, FIFA Technical Study Group member Sunday Oliseh still described as "total genius" his ability to win a disputed foul from Mohammed Salisu that led to it -- and Ghana coach Otto Addo insisted shouldn't have been awarded.

Ronaldo's celebrations suggested he doesn't care where the goals come from, so long as they keep on coming. Still, Portugal can't solely rely on such moments -- and amid the noise that surrounds their most celebrated player, it can be forgotten how much talent coach Fernando Santos has at his disposal.

Not least Atletico Madrid forward Felix, United midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva of Manchester City.

Uruguay drew 0-0 with South Korea in their first game of the tournament.

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