One other sport, one other private milestone. For all of the turmoil that has surrounded Cristiano Ronaldo forward of what’s prone to be his ultimate World Cup, the Portugal nice continues make his mark.
On Thursday, he turned the primary man to attain in 5 World Cups.
Earlier this season he registered the 700th membership objective of his profession.
Not dangerous for a 37-year-old, who doesn’t know the place he will probably be enjoying past Qatar after having his Manchester United contract terminated within the wake of his incendiary interview criticizing supervisor Erik ten Hag and the membership’s homeowners.
A win in opposition to Uruguay on Monday would safe Portugal’s qualification from Group H to the knockout levels with a sport to spare after its opening 3-2 win in opposition to Ghana.
“That is only the start,” Ronaldo mentioned in an Instagram put up, including that “there aren’t any impossibilities.”
But when soccer’s final numbers man is to attain his ambition of lifting the one main trophy that eludes him, he can’t do it by himself.
That a lot was clear in opposition to Ghana, when Portugal additionally wanted objectives from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao to carry on for victory.
Felix is the likeliest inheritor to Ronaldo’s throne as Portugal’s inspiration-in-chief – and has even been linked with a possible transfer to United.
If Qatar is Ronaldo’s final World Cup dance, the strikes aren’t fairly as fluid as they as soon as had been.
His objective in opposition to Ghana got here from the penalty spot, slightly than a second of the kind of particular person brilliance on which his profession has been constructed.
That being mentioned, FIFA Technical Study Group member on Sunday Oliseh still described as “total genius” his capacity to win a disputed foul from Mohammed Salisu that Ghana coach Otto Addo insisted shouldn’t have been awarded.
Ronaldo’s celebrations steered he doesn’t care the place the objectives come from, as long as they carry on coming. However Portugal can’t solely depend on such moments — and amid the noise that surrounds its most celebrated participant, it may be forgotten how a lot expertise coach Fernando Santos has at his disposal.
Not least Atletico Madrid ahead Felix, United midfielder Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva of Manchester Metropolis.
“A range with the standard of ours needs to be favourite in any sport,” mentioned Portugal ahead Goncalo Ramos forward of Uruguay on the Lusail Stadium. “It’s necessary to win the second sport now.”
Uruguay drew 0-0 with South Korea in its first sport of the event.
Like Portugal, Uruguay is mixing the previous and the brand new. Ronaldo’s long-time rival from their time at Actual Madrid and Barcelona respectively, Luis Suarez, is in an assault that additionally options the nation’s new era of expertise in Darwin Nunez and Facundo Pellistri.
At 35, Suarez is not the pressure he as soon as was and he was substituted simply after the hour in opposition to South Korea. One other 35-year-old in Edinson Cavani changed him, however Uruguay nonetheless couldn’t discover a objective.
Ghana uncovered vulnerabilities in Portugal’s protection – however Uruguay will have to be far more scientific whether it is to capitalize on Monday.