Cristiano Ronaldo made history yesterday, becoming the first male player to score in five World Cups in Portugal’s opening game in Qatar against Ghana.
The Portugal captain scored in the 65th minute from the penalty spot — making that his 118th goal for his country — to open the scoring at Doha’s Stadium 974. Portugal then went on to win the tie 3-2 as goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao helped them get over the line after Ghana scored two comeback goals.
Ronaldo, 37, is the most prolific goal scorer in men’s international football and has made a record 18 appearances for Portugal at a World Cup. Speaking at a press conference after the game, Ronaldo said: “It’s a beautiful moment, in my fifth World Cup. We won, we started off on the right foot, a very important victory.
“We know that in these competitions, winning the first game is crucial. Another record too, the only player to score in five consecutive World Cups, that for me, is a reason of great pride.”
The ex-Manchester United forward made his Portugal debut in 2003 and scored his first goal 10 months later during a Euro 2004 group stage game against Greece. His first World Cup goal then came in 2006, and it was from the penalty spot in a 2-0 win over Iran. The second goal came four years later in South Africa against North Korea, with the next coming against Ghana in the 2014 World Cup.
Goal number four came in Russia in 2018 — which was Ronaldo’s most successful World Cup campaign — where he scored four goals, including a hat trick in a 3-3 draw with Spain.
Concluding on Instagram, Ronaldo posted: “Very important win in our World Cup opener but nothing is won! It was just the first step! We remain focused on the pursuit of our objectives. Strength Portugal!”
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