Is this the end of Ronaldo’s football career?
The World Cup dream of Cristiano Ronaldo has likely come to an end, but is his entire career nearing its conclusion as well?
Ronaldo’s turbulent tournament never seemed to have a happy ending after he was demoted to the role of substitute by his country after arguing with his coach. However, his tears following Portugal’s quarterfinal exit turned out to be an accurate representation of his current situation.
The 37-year-old is currently a global icon without a club to call home after his angry departure from Manchester United last month. A shock loss to Morocco means that the only major honor still eluding him is a World Cup winner’s medal.
While the Portuguese audience continues to admire him, there are already rumors about where he will play club football next. Soon, rumors about his future with his nation will surely follow.
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Although Ronaldo departed from United just before the World Cup began, his tenure in Qatar got off to a good start.
Fifa called the way he won a contentious penalty in Portugal’s opening group match against Ghana “absolute genius,” and he scored on it to become the first player to score at five World Cups.
After that, though, things quickly started to go apart, and he failed to score in his next two starts before clashing with manager Fernando Santos over his outburst following his substitution against South Korea.
Ronaldo was substituted in the last-16 match against Switzerland, the first time since 2008 that he had not started a major tournament game. Goncalo Ramos, his young replacement, then scored a hat-trick, making Ronaldo the star player who had previously been a sub.
That was how he was employed against Morocco as well, but he was allowed most of the second half to have an effect after entering the game in the 51st minute with his team behind 1-0.
His mere presence allowed him to achieve another milestone—his 196th international appearance matched Kuwait forward Bader Al-record Mutawa’s for men—but he was unable to celebrate the occasion with the kind of memorable moment he has consistently delivered over the years.
With 118 goals in 118 appearances for the men’s national teams, Ronaldo already held the record, but he never seemed like he would add to it against a well-prepared foe.
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