Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup record analysed after bowing out with no knockout goals

Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup record analysed after bowing out with no knockout goals

Introduction

Cristiano Ronaldo’s journey in the 2022 World Cup came to an end as Portugal was eliminated by Morocco. This raises questions about whether the 37-year-old football star will ever have another chance to play in the World Cup. Throughout his illustrious career, Ronaldo has had several opportunities to make an impact in the knockout stages, but he has never managed to score a goal. This article will delve into his World Cup record, his goal-scoring patterns, and the recent controversy surrounding his substitution.

Ronaldo’s World Cup Performances

Ronaldo has participated in five World Cup tournaments, including 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022. Despite his status as one of the greatest footballers of all time, he has only scored goals during the group stages of these competitions. In 2014, Portugal failed to advance beyond the group stage, with Ronaldo struggling with injuries. Portugal has never won the World Cup, and Ronaldo has never been able to lead his team past the semi-final stage, which they reached in 2006.

Goal-Scoring Patterns

All of Ronaldo’s eight World Cup goals have come during the group stage matches. He has achieved this feat against teams such as Iran in 2006, North Korea in 2010, Ghana in 2014, and Ghana again in the 2018 edition. In the most recent tournament, Ronaldo showcased his skills by scoring a hat-trick against Spain and another goal against Morocco. However, it is worth noting that he controversially claimed a headed goal against Uruguay, which was ultimately disallowed.

Ronaldo’s Loss of Starting Position

Ronaldo’s sudden relegation to the bench during Portugal’s knockout stage matches has raised eyebrows among fans and analysts. The turning point seemed to be in Portugal’s final group game against South Korea when Ronaldo was substituted in the 65th minute. He responded by putting his finger to his lips, making the universal gesture for “be quiet.” While Ronaldo later claimed that he was reacting to Cho Gue-sung of Korea telling him to hurry up and leave the pitch, it is not the first time the 37-year-old has reacted angrily to being substituted mid-game.

Fernando Santos’ Response

Portugal’s manager, Fernando Santos, addressed the incident involving Ronaldo’s substitution ahead of the clash against Switzerland. Santos expressed his disapproval, stating, “Have I seen the images? Yes, I didn’t like it, not at all. I really didn’t like it. But from that moment onwards, everything is finished regarding that issue. These matters are resolved behind closed doors. It’s resolved. Full stop on this matter, and now everyone is focused on tomorrow’s match.”

Conclusion

Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup journey has come to an end with Portugal’s elimination from the tournament. Despite his incredible achievements and status as one of the greatest footballers, Ronaldo has never managed to score a goal in the knockout stages of the World Cup. As he approaches the age of 41, there is a possibility that he may never have another opportunity to rectify this record before retiring from international football. Only time will tell if Ronaldo’s World Cup performances will be forever marred by his lack of success in the crucial stages of the tournament.