Monday, December 5, 2022

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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first man to score in five consecutive World Cups but it was a nervous win

“I don’t follow records, records follow me.” Cristiano Ronaldo, remarkably fit after the past few weeks and in his first game of the tournament, made history once again by becoming the first player to win five World Cups goal scored.

And before? raw emotion. Ronaldo stood up as the Portuguese national anthem played and tears streamed down his face as finally one of the greatest players ever to feature in the game was able to take center stage again.

The rawness of the occasion and the drama that unfolded summed up what had been written on the back covers over the past fortnight.

Ronaldo would always have his say after so much had been written and spoken about him.

And yet Portugal had threatened to write negative news lines of its own. Ronaldo was stunned on the touchline as goalkeeper Meireles da Costa narrowly avoided embarrassment by scoring 3-2 at the last moment.

Da Costa seemed unaware of his surroundings, laying the ball on the ground and striker Inaki Williams lunged from behind. Somehow the keeper got back into position and a misstep by Williams allowed Portugal to eliminate the threat.

The camera panned straight to Ronaldo, who had a look of pure horror on his face. This was just one of many awkward moments for Ronaldo that day.

Sometimes he frowned and complained about the opponent, referees, teammates and even the sky above Doha.

A truly great player, however, is characterized by having the courage to pull his team out of a difficult situation and the way Ronaldo won and converted his penalty in the 65th minute was further proof of his status in game.

A sea of ​​red and green jerseys rose expectantly at her feet. They, like many others, had been rehearsing what came next.

Ronaldo performed his famous suiii in celebration, thousands in the stadium joined him and the smiles had returned.

Ghana had come back into the game with tremendous fighting spirit, but Portugal had too much quality.

Ronaldo was substituted in the 88th minute and continued to conduct on the touchline – a la Euro 2016 final.

He had retained his 100 per cent record as a coach despite Portugal’s efforts to throw away the narrow lead.

A burst of emotion followed as the full-time whistle blew.

It was clear that recent events had affected Ronaldo as he was hugged and congratulated by all the other players on the field.

You can certainly question the timing and nature of his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan, but what you can’t question is Ronaldo’s ruthlessness and drive to succeed.

He had made his mark again and this time the back pages will be filled with the positivity Ronaldo had grown accustomed to, rather than the negativity that threatened to overshadow the big man from his farewell performance on the biggest stage of them all.

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