Cristiano Ronaldo may have broken a record for scoring a goal across five different World Cups, but his achievement was marred after copping swift backlash over a 'dive'. The 37-year-old became the first player in history to score a goal at five World Cups when he found the back of the net against Ghana on Friday morning.
However, the way in which the penalty was awarded sparked anger. Portugal were handed a penalty in the 64th minute when it was deemed Mohammed Salisu brought down Ronaldo in the box.
However, replays showed Salisu may have made contact with the ball before Ronaldo took a touch. VAR also found no clear evidence to overturn the penalty and Ronaldo went on to convert from the spot.
Fans watching were left seething that VAR didn't intervene after replays. Many also alleged Ronaldo took a 'dive' in order to win his team the penalty.
Outrageous from Ronaldo. Total dive, ref bought it, hopefully VAR did not.
— Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) November 24, 2022
That’s a dive from Ronaldo
— Terry Flewers (@terryflewers) November 24, 2022
Can some expert please explain to me why #VAR didn’t check the #Ronaldo dive & why it was given as a penalty?
Horrendous decision. Officials allowing it to happen because it’s simply Ronaldo.. can’t wait to see the back of the petulant cheat tbh#PORGHA @FIFAWorldCup @talkSPORT
— Jake James Harrison 🇺🇦 (@JakeJHarrison1) November 24, 2022
Never a pen
— Darren Bent (@DarrenBent) November 24, 2022
Ghana levelled shortly afterwards through Andre Ayew, setting up an exciting final 20 minutes. However Portugal looked to have put the game to bed when they struck twice in two minutes, holding a 3-1 lead heading into injury time.
Ronaldo received a huge ovation when he was replaced but he had barely sat down when Ghana made it 3-2, substitute Osman Bukari taking advantage of some lax marking to head in a deflected cross in the 89th minute.
Bukari copied Ronaldo's iconoic 'siuu' celebration in a moment of surprise.
Cameras cut to a clearly disgusted Ronaldo sitting on the Portugal bench, although in fairness his angry reaction was perhaps more to do with his side conceding a late second goal, rather than the Ghanaian's celebration.
Regardless, Ronaldo put it behind him after the victory. "It was a beautiful moment," Ronaldo said after the match. "My fifth World Cup, we won. That was very important. The world record is something that makes me very proud."
Ronaldo is now without a club after parting ways with Manchester United but he added: "This week we closed the chapter. The rest doesn't matter."
In a good sign, Portugal survived the thriller to move top of Group H, winning their opening World Cup match for the first time since 2006.
Earlier, Uruguay drew with a determined South Korea outfit.
Ronaldo turmoil in World Cup build-up
Ronaldo has been the centre of attention once again leading up to Portugal's opening game after his contract was mutually terminated with Manchester United.
Ronaldo's explosive interview with Piers Morgan the final straw in his tense relationship with Manchester United. The Premier League club and Ronaldo mutually agreed to terminate his contract earlier this week after the star forward became increasingly disgruntled under the direction of Erik Ten Hag.
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