Portugal win thriller as Ronaldo makes World Cup history

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The road to Ronaldo’s World Cup record

Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first man to score at five FIFA World Cups. We look at how he got there.

Portugal win thriller as Ronaldo makes World Cup history

  • Cristiano first made his World Cup mark at Germany 2006
  • At the age of 37, the Portuguese has now become a record-breaker at the global finals
  • There have been some notable strikes in between

Simply by taking to the field tonight at Stadium 974, Cristiano Ronaldo claimed membership of an elite club.

In playing at his fifth FIFA World Cup, he joined Lothar Matthaus, Antonio Carbajal, Rafa Marquez, Gianluigi Buffon, Andres Guardado, Guillermo Ochoa and Lionel Messi in achieving this distinction. Should CR7, as expected, play in all three of Portugal’s group-stage matches, he will enter the competition’s list of top-ten appearance holders.

But Ronaldo has never been interested in joining a club. He wants to strike out alone as, arguably, the game’s greatest of all time. As such, 24 November 2022 will remain a momentous date in his remarkable career.

It was the day on which he became the first and only man to score at five separate editions of the game’s greatest tournament, opening the scoring for Portugal in a thrilling 3-2 win over Ghana.

As yet another record falls to the highest-scoring man in the history of international football, FIFA+ looks at the goals that have paved the way to World Cup immortality.

Cristiano Ronaldo at the FIFA World Cup

  • Editions: 5 (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022)
  • Appearances: 18
  • Goals: 7

Germany 2006

  • Appearances: 6
  • Goals: 1

Ronaldo emerged as one of Germany 2006’s breakout stars, scoring against IR Iran and providing some exciting and influential performances as Portugal reached the last four.

After scoring a penalty in the triumphant quarter-final shootout against England, Cristiano dedicated the strike to his father, Dinis Aveiro, who had died less than a year earlier. Wheeling away after the ball hit the net, he pointed to the sky and mouthed: “You there… this one’s for you!”

“When I win something, I always think about my dad,” he has since said. “He’s always looking at me and out for me. He sends me messages in my dreams.”

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal 80′ | Portugal vs IR Iran | 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany

Watch every single goal from the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany.

South Africa 2010

  • Appearances: 4
  • Goals: 1

Incredible as it might now seem, given his scoring rate since, Ronaldo went into this match having not scored in a competitive match for Portugal in over two years.

Shut out by Côte d’Ivoire in their opener, he saw six Portuguese goals come from elsewhere against Korea DPR before finally breaking through three minutes from time. Cristiano & Co duly qualified for the Round of 16, where they lost out to eventual champions Spain.

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal 86′ | Portugal v Korea DPR | 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Watch every single goal from the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.

South Africa 2014

  • Appearances: 3
  • Goals: 1

The 2014 World Cup was Ronaldo’s most disappointing to date, marked out by Portugal’s group-stage exit and a debilitating knee injury that restricted his performances.

But having failed to score or make a significant impact on a 4-0 defeat to Germany or the 2-2 draw with USA that all but doomed his team to elimination, the Real Madrid star finally found the target against Ghana to seal victory with ten minutes remaining.

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal 79′ | Portugal v Ghana | 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Watch every single goal from the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

Russia 2018

  • Appearances: 4
  • Goals: 4

At 33, Ronaldo enjoyed his best World Cup – or best so far, he will surely add. The highlight was a spectacular opening-match hat-trick against Spain – “the best” of his career according to the man himself – which was capped by a stunning free-kick.

Cristiano Ronaldo Goal 88′ | Portugal v Spain | 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

Watch every single goal from the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Qatar 2022

  • Appearances to date: 1
  • Goals: 1

Cristiano made history in Doha with an emphatically struck spot kick to set Portugal on the road to a vital 3-2 win over Ghana.

Will more goals follow here in Qatar? With Ronaldo, it seems a fairly safe assumption.

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