“I don’t follow records, records follow me!,” Cristiano Ronaldo was bold enough to make a strong statement when asked about goal-scoring exploits in the build-up to Portugal’s tournament opener against Ghana at the FIFA World Cup 2022. On Thursday, the talismanic leader of the Portugal national team entered his name in the record books for the umpteenth time by opening his account at the Qatar World Cup.
One of the most decorated players in the history of the game, Ronaldo reached new heights by scoring the all-important opener for Portugal in its Group H encounter against Ghana at the Stadium 974. Nicknamed CR7, the former Manchester United and Juventus star has become the first player to score a goal in five editions of the FIFA World Cup.
The 37-year-old has now scored in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022 editions of the FIFA World Cup. Ronaldo has surpassed Lionel Messi, Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose by becoming the first player to score at five World Cup tournaments. Earlier, Argentina captain Messi had joined Pele, Seeler, and Klose by becoming the fifth player to score at four World Cup events.
Making his record-equalling fifth appearance at the FIFA World Cup, Portugal’s captain Ronaldo successfully converted a penalty in the 65th minute of the game. After Ghana netted a stunning equaliser, Atletico Madrid star Joao Felix restored Portugal’s lead by scoring a brilliant goal in the 78th minute of the game. Rafael Leao then stunned Ghana by scoring Portugal’s third goal two minutes later. Riding on Ronaldo’s record-breaking goal, Portugal edged past Ghana 3-2 to kickstart its FIFA World Cup 2022 on a winning note in Doha.
“It’s a beautiful moment in my fifth World Cup. We won. We started on a good foot. It’s a very important win. We know in these competitions the first match is fundamental. It’s another record too. That makes me very proud. I am very happy for the team to have put on excellent performance. It was difficult but we deserved to win,” Ronaldo told reporters after the match. Ronaldo-led Portugal will meet Uruguay in its next Group H game at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday.