Watch: Heartbroken Cristiano Ronaldo in tears after Portugal's shock defeat to Morocco in FIFA World Cup quarterfinal
The disappointment of missing out on a World Cup was evident when a heartbroken Cristiano Ronaldo was seen in tears, first after the final whistle was blown and then as he walked back to the change room.
Cristiano Ronaldo will, without a shadow of a doubt, go down as one of the GOATs of professional football but in all likelihood, if there is one illustrious feat that he will not achieve in his glittering career is that of being a World Cup winner. The FIFA World Cup 2022 was quite possibly the last shot at World Cup Glory for Ronaldo but the 37-year-old will have to return empty handed following Portugal's exit from the tournament.
Ronaldo and Portugal suffered a heartbreak in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup as the side faced a 0-1 defeat to Morocco on Saturday. Youssef En-Nesyri's towering header in the 42nd minute remained the sole difference between the two sides as Ronaldo, who started from bench yet again, failed to make a mark after being introduced to the game in the second half. The disappointment of missing out on a World Cup was evident when a shattered Ronaldo was seen in tears, first after the final whistle was blown and then as he walked back to the change room. It was Neymar yesterday, and Ronaldo today. Two major heartbreaks for two of the greatest footballers of the current generation.
Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo's dream ends as Portugal stunned by Morocco 1-0
Ronaldo, who holds the record for most goals, in men's international football hitting the back of the nets 118 times, could do so only once this World Cup as he scored against Ghana. However, For Portugal, this tournament will be remembered more for the controversies surrounding Ronaldo off the field and on it. First, if his decision to leave Manchester United in the middle of a World Cup wasn't infamous enough, the fallout between him and the Portugal definitely left the team atmosphere in tatters.
While most teams concentrate on winning the World Cup, for Portugal fans, it was about whether all is well between Ronaldo and the team. First, there were reports that Ronaldo had threatened to leave Portugal, which was later refuted by the Portugal Football Federation. Then, another report emerged which claimed that Ronaldo skipped training with substitutes and instead chose to go for a gym session with the starters. One official statement after the other, Ronaldo and Portugal were plagued by whatever it was that was brewing between them.
Ronaldo was shockingly benched during Portugal's Round of 16 tie against Switzerland, but they didn't live to regret the decision following a convincing 6-1 win. It was clear that his days as an international footballer are coming to an end. Here too, he was benched from the Starting XI and even though he returned just six minutes into the second half, he barely had any impact on the game. Although he came on in the 51st minute for his 196th Portugal cap, he failed to bring his team back on level pegging with the Moroccan defense stifling him and his teammates. In fact, such was Morocco's dominance that it allowed Portugal just three shots at goal.