Morocco cruised to a 1-0 win to knock Portugal out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in the quarter-finals, with Cristiano Ronaldo unable to affect the scoreline after entering the pitch as a 51st-minute substitute .
Cristiano Ronaldo playing in what is expected to be his last FIFA World Cup tournament, left the pitch in tears after Portugal’s surprise exit following their 1-0 loss to Morocco in the quarter-finals at the Al Thumama stadium, in Qatar on Saturday 10 December. .
The 37-year-old Portuguese legend made his 196th international appearance but failed to score after Morocco took the lead in the 42nd minute through Youssef En-Nesyri.
This could be Ronaldo’s last World Cup arc after making his tournament debut in the 2006 edition. He even became the first man to score at five World Cups in Qatar when he netted the first. goal from the penalty spot in Portugal’s 3-2 victory over Ghana in their first match of the tournament.
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His 196th appearance also equals the record for most international appearances, a record set by Kuwaiti international Bader Al-Mutawa.
However, it’s safe to say that the Portuguese legend’s best days are behind him, having scored just once in this edition and being benched for the knockout stage.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos will feel his decision was justified as Ronaldo withdraws from the competition after failing to score in his eight World Cup knockout matches, going 570 minutes and 27 shots without a goal .
Ronaldo also leaves the most prestigious stage in world football with eight goals at the tournament, just one less than Eusebio’s all-time record of nine goals with Portugal.
He also finds his club’s future in limbo at the moment, having mutually terminated his contract with Manchester United following an explosive reveal interview with Piers Morgan on the eve of the World Cup in Qatar.
This explains the pain Ronaldo probably felt when he was seen leaving the pitch in tears without even waiting to greet one of the Moroccan players after his team lost.
Watch Ronaldo’s tearful exit from the World Cup stage below: