Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been in the news for the better part of the last two weeks, made headlines yet again on Thursday with a historic feat. All eyes were on him during Portugal’s Group H match against Ghana at the Stadium 974, and he rose to the occasion as he has so many times before. On Thursday, however, he accomplished something no male footballer had ever done before. Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot in the 65th minute to put Portugal up 1-0. Ronaldo became the first male footballer in history to score in five different FIFA World Cups with that goal. Portugal eventually won the match by a score of 3-2.
He surpassed Pele and Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, who each had four World Cup goals. Ronaldo also set a new world record with 118 international goals. The spot-kick was Ronaldo’s eighth career goal at the World Cup and comes after a tumultuous week that saw the star forward leave Manchester United after weeks of tensions with the club.
However, there was some debate over the penalty, which was awarded after Ronaldo crashed theatrically to the ground following minor contact with Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.
Ghana’s hopes were raised when Andre Ayew equalised in the 73rd minute, but goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao ensured a winning start for the Euro 2016 champions. Ghana’s late consolation goal came from Osman Bukari.
Manchester United announced this week that Ronaldo will leave the club with immediate effect after criticising the club and manager Erik ten Hag in a TV interview, but he has shown no signs of strain since the end of his time at Old Trafford.
Ronaldo, the all-time men’s international goal-scorer, started in his usual center-forward position for the Group H clash, just two days after leaving Manchester United by mutual consent.
Ronaldo, 37, was involved in a contentious interview last week in which he slammed Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag and the club itself, prompting his eventual departure.