Portugal took on Liechtenstein on Thursday, March 23, 2023, in their UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers opener and Cristiano Ronaldo was back in the starting line-up. The Portuguese talisman captained his nation in Roberto Martinez’s managerial debut for Portugal. It was a convincing win for Martinez’s men who scored four goals without conceding any. Ronaldo scored a brace with Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva getting the other two goals.
However, it seemed like Ronaldo deserved more than a brace in the game. The first goal of the game, scored by Cancelo, deflected off a defender and hit Ronaldo before nestling into the back of the net. Many Ronaldo fans were asking for the goal to be given to Ronaldo instead of Cancelo. It does seem they have a point as the ball touched Ronaldo last.
One fan commented, “It should definitely be Ronaldo’s goal. This sport is rigged.”
It should definitely be Ronaldo’s goal
This sport is rigged https://t.co/LvkgFCpTqI
— MR CHRI$™ (@Chris_official7) March 24, 2023
Double deflection first from the leichtenstein defender then touched Ronaldo’s feet, it’s clear Ronaldo’s goal.
— Xaryab.X.CR7𓃵 (@baba_yaga994) March 23, 2023
It should be of Ronaldo, Inzaghi scored like this in the champions league final Milan Liverpool
— Giovanni La Licata (@giovadidas) March 23, 2023
There were many other fans who were also accusing Ronaldo fans of trying to steal a goal.
Ain’t y’all tired of stealing goals💀💀💀
— Morgan (@_UTDMorgan) March 23, 2023
Trying to steal goal every time, aren’t you ashamed?? 💀 https://t.co/ApPAnbVKIZ
— Kamal 💙❤️❁ (@KamalSZN_) March 24, 2023
There is no official communication about the goal being reallocated. However, it is unlikely that it will happen so late.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace to celebrate another international milestone
Ronaldo celebrated his 197th international cap with a penalty and free kick. With his appearance against Liechtenstein, he became the player with the most international caps surpassing Kuwait’s Bader Al-Mutawa.
197 appearances for @selecaoportugal. 🇵🇹
Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the most capped player in men’s international football history after starting for Portugal against Liechtenstein in their 2024 EURO qualifier. 👏 pic.twitter.com/MwA8csccgw
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 23, 2023
Joao Cancelo had put Portugal ahead in the eighth minute in the Group J qualifier at the Jose Alvalade Stadium. Bernardo Silva scored the second right after the second half began. Ronaldo converted a penalty in the 51st minute and scored a free kick in the 63rd minute. Ronaldo has now scored 60 career free kicks. Portugal won the match 4-0.
Speaking after the game, the new Portugal manager was asked about his captain’s performance and said (via record.pt):
“To be in the national team, you have to be committed. It’s a new cycle. It’s very important that he shows commitment so that we can use his experience, and he shows that commitment.”
Portugal will next face Ronaldo’s favorite opponent, Luxembourg. The Portugal captain has scored the most goals (9) against Luxembourg.