Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has been incessantly mocked on social media over his strange habit of hitching up his shorts before taking free kicks.
All eyes were on Ronaldo and Sochi after Messi and Argentina had crashed out of the tournament in Kazan in the earlier round of 16 clash.
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However, Ronaldo and the reigning European champions hit a Uruguayan roadblock at Fisht Stadium.
Ronaldo, unlike rival Messi, had dazzled in Russia. His four-goal tally in three games – including a hat-trick against Spain – had Portugal dreaming of their first World Cup quarter-final appearance since 2006.
But it was Ronaldo’s strange habit with his shorts that became the focus for fans on social media during the match against Uruguay.
Countless hilarious posts came in thick and fast as the Portuguese captain’s shorts sent the internet into a frenzy.
When Ronaldo turns his shorts to speedos. 😂 pic.twitter.com/C565rB8hAm
— Rouda Al Attiyah (@DoodiAlA) June 30, 2018
I like the way Ronaldo thinks pulling his shorts up gives him super powers.
— Nικος Ξυδιας (@Greekbluenose) June 30, 2018
— Sarah 🇮🇸 🇮🇸 🇮🇸 (@CQEdinburgh) June 30, 2018
That pathetic thing Ronaldo does with his shorts before smashing yet another free kick into the wall 🤦🏻♂️
— CM (@cnrmccnn) June 30, 2018
Why does Ronaldo always roll his shorts up like that I wanna barf
— Maggie Connor (@ma_gg_s) June 30, 2018
Messi helped his team with 2 assists today meanwhile Clown Ronaldo’s only highlights of the game was transforming his shorts into underwear. You can’t make this shit up🐸☕️
— Asala🍍 (@levanturk) June 30, 2018
Aside from the brutal trolling on social media, it was a match to forget for Ronaldo, whose surprising run of having never scored in a World Cup knockout match continued.
0 – Neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi have scored a goal in a World Cup knockout match:
Ronaldo: 0 goals in 6 games from 25 shots (514 mins)
Messi: 0 goals in 8 games from 23 shots (756 mins)
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 30, 2018
While Messi cut a forlorn figure during Argentina’s 4-3 loss to France, Ronaldo tried to inspire.
However, he could only watch on as Edinson Cavani played a diagonal ball across the pitch to pick out Suarez, who returned the favour with an inch-perfect cross for the Paris Saint-Germain forward to head home an early opener.
It was a thing of beauty, from a team who many expected to get down and dirty.
With Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez in their familiar central roles, Uruguay did demonstrate their defensive superiority, nullifying Ronaldo’s impact throughout an opening half largely controlled by a Portugal side lacking penetration against Oscar Tabarez’s rock-solid back four.
Veteran defender Pepe – a familiar face and former Real Madrid team-mate – had Portugal back on level terms within 11 minutes of the second half.
Ronaldo was lifted. Portugal grew. Crucially, though, Cavani and Uruguay had the ideal response.
Portugal were only on level terms for seven minutes as Cavani, with one touch, curled an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Rui Patricio.
Ronaldo’s head dropped. His frustration grew. Portugal’s captain and all-time leading scorer was booked in the closing stages and could even have seen red after furiously protesting in the face of the referee.
And just like that, he joined Messi in heading out of Russia and out of the World Cup. The two players who have dominated the Ballon d’Or for a decade are now forced to take a backseat for the remainder of the greatest show on Earth.