In terms of talent and accolades, very few players in football history have anything of Ronaldo’s caliber. The Portuguese legend, undoubtedly one of the greatest players of all time, has won five Ballon d’Or awards, and he stands alone as the only European player to win four European Golden Shoes. If you want to know about Africa’s World Cup History Rewritten, click here.
Ronaldo also holds the record for most appearances at goals and assists in the Champions League. He also remains Portugal’s all-time top scorer with 118 international destinations and has the joint-most international appearances with 196 caps for Portugal.
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Cristiano is among the few players who have made over 1,100 professional career appearances and scored over 800 official senior career goals for the club and country.
Ronaldo, the only player to score in five World Cup tournaments, has won an impressive seven league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and the UEFA European Championship. His trophy tally stands at 32, among which none is the World Cup.
No glory at the end
The Qatar World Cup was Ronaldo’s last chance to have a World Cup trophy in his collection. Being a frequent mention in debates of who the greatest of all time is, the former Manchester United superstar was looking to fill the World Cup gap on his case.
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The fact that his lifelong rival Messi could also be playing in his last World Cup tournament could have only motivated the 37-year-old to give his best shot. However, after scoring just one goal in the group stages, Cristiano hit a major rough patch.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner once again became the center of the drama, leading to him getting dropped from the starting XI. This was in response to his displeasure at being subbed out against South Korea in the group stages. Replaced by 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos, Ronaldo came on as a substitute in the round of 16, where his replacement scored the tournament’s only hat-trick.
After their 1-0 loss to Morocco, Cristiano Ronaldo left the pitch in tears as they had been stopped on their track to contend. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner stormed for the tunnel after having a moment on the pitch. Ronaldo was left out of the starting 11 again by manager Fernando Santos and was not brought in till the 51st minute.
What next for Cristiano
A look past all the recent controversy will paint out how good of a player Cristiano Ronaldo is, but age and time serve no man. The 37-year-old, who has been one of the most senior players at this World Cup tournament, is in the last periods of his career, and his age could be a factor in his recent struggles on the pitch.
After a mutual agreement to part ways with Manchester United, Ronaldo is currently without a club; what’s next for Cristiano following a harsh final World Cup tournament?