Cristiano Ronaldo broke away from the club - Newspaper Kommersant No. 219 (7420) of 11/25/2022

The Portuguese national team became the leader of group H, defeating the Ghanaian team in their starting and very exciting match thanks to the furious ending - 3: 2, and its leader Cristiano Ronaldo set another record by scoring at the fifth world championship.

The Portugal national team has a lot of very good, very famous players from very cool clubs. But smart cameramen, giving before the match close-ups of the faces of the match participants lined up in a row, of course, lingered for a long time on only one of them: head held high, lips whispering the words of the anthem, tears seem to be visible in the eyes. This is how the soldiers going into the decisive battle for their homeland under hurricane fire look like ... Meanwhile, those journalists who were lucky enough to find themselves in the stands of Stadium 974 were stunned by the number of Portuguese fans who, thanks to the now popular masks, turned into him, into Cristiano Ronaldo. In the hands of one of these people was a poster: "Quit my job so as not to miss my last chance, the greatest player of all time!"

This greatest player will soon be 38 years old. He played horrendously little and, strictly speaking, horribly badly by his own five-time Ballon d'Or standards in club competition this fall. Moreover, for several days now, after the difficult gap relations with Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo is generally officially unemployed. But his compatriots in love with football still believed that he was cooler than all the others put together, that if the Portuguese team had any special power, it was still concentrated in him, their idol, their almost deity, what whatever his earthly problems.

And Cristiano Ronaldo again and again forced the operators to zoom in on his face. The game was fresh. It seems that the Ghana national team, in principle, was not interested in the attack, and it did not occur to her to worry about the fact that she could not strike at the goal, not just a blow, but at least like that, a striker for the sake of form.

It is quite enough that there are practically no dips in the middle of the field and behind. Portuguese football was more solid, but looked somehow skewed. Almost two-thirds of the attacks - through the left flank, through the active Rafael Guerreira. Most of it is without zest, easy to read. Rarely did anything serious come up. But if it did, Cristiano Ronaldo was sure to be in the spotlight.

Here is the Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Kudus, whose place is actually, in theory, closer to the front line, for some reason ends up behind in the danger zone and receives the ball so badly that he immediately loses it and allows a penetrating pass into the penalty area to be born - right on Ronaldo . But he will realize too late that he is too close to half-squat to close as much space as possible, goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Ziji, and will not invent a way to circle him.

But Cristiano Ronaldo gets a canopy, and he hits his head - and again, not where he wanted. And someone on this planet must have later turned on his favorite selection of his countless heads and, looking at it, sighed sadly: “Yes, once he put such ones without question ...”

But Ronaldo even scores. But there is no joy from this, because the referee Ismail Elfat has already noticed the Portuguese foul on Alexandra Jiku, which took place moments earlier. In a word, continuous failures.

But those who believed in him were not mistaken. In the second half, it seemed that the game was already changing, and not for the better for the Portuguese side. The national team of Ghana grew bolder, finally struck a shot on goal (at Kudus, by the way, it came out quite tight, but it didn’t grow together with accuracy). And then suddenly Cristiano Ronaldo and the ball again found each other inside the Ghanaian penalty area. And Mohammed Salisu, knocking him out of the Portuguese leader, pushed him in the side, dropping him on the lawn. The situation, frankly, looked “borderline” – either a violation or not, because, whatever one may say, Salisu played the ball. But Elfat didn't even call VAR for help. And this is his amazing, given how used the judges are now to turn on the video for any reason, the decision, after all, could also be attributed to Ronaldo's never-ending magic.

Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, played the penalty himself. And having driven the ball into the net, for the first time that evening he smiled broadly and even stuck out his tongue with happiness, entering for the umpteenth time into history with the devil knows what a phenomenal scorer's achievement. He excelled at the fifth World Championship. And so far no one has been able to do this. Yes, and four world championships with goals scored, in addition to Ronaldo, only three players - the Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, as well as the king of football Pele. Now there is no elite club, but there is a great lone leader.

But with this penalty and this record, as it turned out, an unexpected football carnival in a still rather monotonous match was just beginning. The Ghana national team quickly restored equality when Ruben Dias missed Kudus, and Diash's partners did not keep track of Andre Aiyu who rushed to the cross. The Portuguese team quickly survived the drama and took the lead again when Bruno Fernandes found Juan Felix on the offside line, who had dealt with the goalkeeper exemplarily.

And then Fernandes once again demonstrated the talent of a passer, finding Rafael Lean on this line, who came on as a substitute, who gracefully rolled the ball into the far corner. And then Cristiano Ronaldo went one on one with Ati-Zigi ... And all this - in just ten minutes.

The venerable commentators who worked at the match were worried about only one question: why did the Portuguese not play like this before?!

But the Ghanaians did not give up and reduced the gap to a minimum: Osman Bukari scored with a header, and there was still an extended stoppage time, as is usually the case in the Qatari championship, almost a quarter of a half. It was nervous, it's stoppage time. Ghana has a chance. But everything ended well for the retinue of the football record holder who was suffering on the bench.

Alexey Dospekhov

First tour

Portugal-Ghana 3:2

Ronaldo, 65 (pen.); Felix, 78; Lean, 80 - André Ayew, 73; Boukari, 89.

November 24th. Doha, Stadium 974. 42,662 spectators.

Match statistics

Portugal Ghana

Shots on goal 11 9

shots on target 5 3

Corners 3 3

Offsides 1 1

fouls 14 19

Warnings 2 4

Percentage of possession 62 38

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