Portugal went into the World Cup as one of the favorites to lift all 30,875 karats of 18-karat gold, which is what the World Cup trophy is made of. With an attacking force of soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo, playmaker Bruno Fernandes, trickster Rafael Leao, and speedster Joao Felix, Portugal was bound to make the scoreboard their best friend.
Their star-studded defense and their silky smooth midfield combination play meant that they could certainly expect to move the ball around quickly and frustrate the opposition while stopping opposition play dead in its tracks.
They were off to a flier in the group stage, going 2 for 2 before South Korea gave them a reality check. However, it turned out to be just a minor setback as Portugal thrashed Switzerland 6-1 to return to winning ways in the round of 16.
Portugal is to face Morocco in the round of 16 today in the World Cup. This is a Moroccan side that is capable of inflicting serious damage. Achraf Hakimi, Hakim Ziyech, and Romain Saiss, to name a few, are all big names in world soccer now.
Morocco also has momentum with them, after defeating Portugal’s neighbors, Spain, in penalty shootouts in the round of 16. They are certain to put up a tough challenge and will be a tough nut to crack.
Even though Portugal must overcome the Moroccan challenge, win the semi-finals, and then the finals to be crowned World Cup winners, their captain, legend, and talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo has come out on Twitter to claim that Portugal has already won the World Cup.
Cristiano Ronaldo thanks fans for their support
Soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo may not be having the best World Cup campaign with just one goal to his name, however, he never falls short of words to appreciate the fans’ support.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has come out and claimed that Portugal has already won a separate World Cup – that of the fans. The soccer legend was touched by the support of Portuguese fans back home, in the stands in Qatar, and the ones cheering on from their TV sets.
Há um Mundial que Portugal já ganhou: o dos adeptos! Incrível o apoio e o carinho que temos sentido de tantos portugueses (e não só!) aqui no Catar, tão longe da nossa pátria. Continuem a apoiar nos bons e nos maus momentos, tudo faremos para retribuir com vitórias! Força,🇵🇹🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/LKSTQ9W3FB
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 9, 2022
Ronaldo wrote on Twitter: “There is a World Cup that Portugal has already won: that of the fans! The support and affection we have felt from so many Portuguese people (and not only!) here in Qatar, so far from our homeland, is incredible. Continue to support us in good and bad times, we will do everything to repay you with victories! Strength, Portugal.”
Ronaldo’s performance at the World Cup so far
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored over 800 career goals for club and country throughout his long career as a soccer player. Goals are something that has always come naturally to him. Such is his relationship with goals that goals have, somehow, now become synonymous with the name “Cristiano Ronaldo”.
For all his expertise in smashing it into the back of the net, however, Ronaldo has struggled to find form all season and seems to have carried over his average form into the World Cup.
He scored the opener in Portugal’s first game against Ghana. But, that too, was through a penalty.
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Ghana:
• 1 goals.
• 2 shots on target.
• 15/19 accurate Passes
• 33 touches.
• 3 fouls won.
• 1 penalty won.
• 2 aeriel duels won.
• 1 clearance.
• 1 headed clearance.
• 3 ground duels won.
• 3 recoveries.
Perfect start! pic.twitter.com/EEGijzJz85
— CristianoXtra (@CristianoXtra_) November 24, 2022
Ronaldo is yet to score a goal from open play this World Cup campaign, and to make matters worse, he has now been surpassed by his nemesis, Lionel Messi, in terms of scoring goals in the World Cup in the knockout stages of the coveted competition.
Even without Ronaldo’s goals, however, Portugal finds itself in fine form and certainly not devoid of goals as other players have turned up the heat. That said, the more goalscoring threats a team possesses on the pitch, the better their chances of winning. And when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo, his expertise inside the 18-yard box will be invaluable going forward in the World Cup.