Tag Archives: Portugal

I’d be an hypocrite if I’m happy that Messi wins World Cup – Ronaldo.

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Brazilian football legend, Ronaldo Nazario, has admitted he would be a “hypocrite” if he claimed he would like to see Lionel Messi win the World Cup with Argentina.

Last Friday, Brazil were sent home from the tournament in Qatar at the quarter-final stage by Croatia.

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On the same day, they watched their South American rivals Argentina eliminate Netherlands on penalties to book their place in the last four.

Many fans in Brazil are hoping Croatia deny La Albiceleste the chance to win the World Cup trophy for the first time since 1986.

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“I cannot answer for the whole of Brazil. I can only answer for me. And I am not that sure! Yeah, of course, I will be happy for him (Messi).

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“But, you know, we have a great rivalry between Brazil and Argentina. But I will not be that much of a hypocrite to say I will be happy for Argentina because it’s not true,” Ronaldo said

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Morocco defeats Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to reach World Cup semifinals.

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Morocco wrote World Cup history on Saturday to become the first African and Arab country ever to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup after they beat Portugal 1-0, extending their dream run thanks to a towering headed goal from Youssef En-Nesyri as they out-thought and out-fought the Portuguese side.

Youssef En-Nesyri leapt high in the air to head home the game’s only goal just before half-time at the Al-Thumama Stadium to strike a significant blow against football’s established order and book a semi-final on Wednesday against either England or France, who meet later on Saturday.

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The result will be widely celebrated across Africa and the Arabic-speaking Middle East, desperate to see one of their teams in contention for the biggest prize in football.

Morocco had already taken the scalps of Belgium and Spain in this tournament but the win over Portugal is of much greater significance.

It was also one of Morocco’s better performances in Qatar, full of determined defending and canny counters, keeping at bay a collection of world stars despite losing key defender Nayef Aguerd to injury before the match and his back four partner and captain Romain Saiss early in the second half.

Portugal will see it as a missed opportunity against the lowest-ranked side left in the tournament and a disappointing curtain call for the 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo.

Morocco, again noisily encouraged by the majority of the 44,198-strong crowd, said they were fatigued after their last-16 success over Spain and immediately went into defensive mode as Portugal attacked from the outset.

A fourth-minute free kick for Portugal from wide on the right was swung into the penalty area, and met by Joao Felix’s diving header, producing a fine save from Yassine Bounou.

But the supply quickly dried up thereafter as Morocco closed the passing lanes and frustrated the Portuguese attackers.

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Joao Felix had two more half chances in the first half but Morocco gained in confidence and found a sudden spring in their step, frequently breaking on the counter attack.

SURGING

Left back Yahya Attiat-Allah made several surging runs down the flank, presenting Selim Amallah with a good chance in the 35th minute, which he was unable to convert.

But seven minutes later, a high ball from the fullback into the Portuguese box was met by a towering header from En-Nesyri, outjumping both goalkeeper Diogo Costa and defender Ruben Dias to hand Morocco the lead.

Portuguese frustration was evident as they swarmed the Argentine referee Facundo Tello at the end of the first half, complaining that several penalty appeals had been turned down.

Morocco came close to a second goal four minutes into the second half as Jawad El Yamiq got a touch to Hakim Ziyech’s in-swinging free kick but Costa was in place this time to block.

Ronaldo’s entry in the 51st minute was met with a loud chorus of jeers, but he did inject a new energy into the Portugal side for whom Goncalo Ramos, the hat-trick hero of their 6-1 win over Switzerland in the previous round, missed with a close-in header in the 58th minute.

Bruno Fernandes hit over the top of the crossbar five minutes later as Portugal threw more into attack and Morocco began to sit deeper. Bounou saved again from Joao Felix with seven minutes left.

Morocco’s Walid Cheddira was sent off in stoppage time after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.

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But his side, to the delight of their raucous support, held out for a famous victory.

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World Cup: South Korea make it to last 16 – Uruguay, Ghana out.

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South Korea beat Portugal 2-1 to reach the World Cup round of 16 on Friday, while both Uruguay and Ghana were eliminated even though the former defeated the latter 2-0.

Ricardo Horta scored in his debut at a major tournament to give group winners Portugal the lead in the fifth minute on Friday, but Kim Young Gwon leveled in the 27th from a corner.

The draw would have eliminated the South Koreans, but in the first seconds of stoppage time, Son Heung Min led a fast counterattack to find Hwang Hee Chan, who netted the winner and fired his country into the knock-out stage on goals scored.

After the final whistle between Portugal and South Korea, there was plenty of drama as Uruguay were still playing against Ghana and needed only one goal to change the fate of Group H.

“We watched the last minutes together on the field and really wanted to make it to the next round. We were very happy,” said South Korea’s Jae Sung Lee said.

Ghana missed a penalty in the 21st, just like they did in the famous 2010 World Cup clash between the two sides after Luis Suarez punched out a goalbound shot.

That penalty miss cost Ghana a place in the semifinal and history repeated itself in Qatar as André Ayew’s spot-kick was saved by Uruguayan keeper Sergio Rochet when the game was still 0-0.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Giorgian de Arrascaeta netted a rebound from Suarez just five minutes later and completed his brace in the 32nd with a lovely first-time finish and after another assist from Suarez.

Both of them, however, were already on the bench when South Korea scored the winner in the other game and could only watch as Uruguay failed to find a goal that would have sent them to the last 16.

This is the first time in four editions that the South American nation have failed to advance to the knock-out stages of the World Cup.

“We’re very sad with the result. It wasn’t up to us at the end because there were other factors,” scorer Arrascaeta said.

Coach Diego Alonso said his team “gave everything” and suggested referee Daniel Siebert was the one to blame for their exit. “It’s very clear what happened, that’s all we can say now.”

Germany’s Siebert decided against awarding Uruguay a penalty after Edinson Cavani went to the ground inside the box in the first minutes of stoppage time.

In some wild scenes, Uruguayan players surrounded the referee at the end of the game, with the cameras showing Suarez in tears on the bench.

Ghana, meanwhile, could have also advanced with a win and the missed penalty will probably haunt the squad for some time.

“We will learn from this. All great achievements have also come from great defeats,” coach Otto Addo said.

Portugal go through as group winners and will probably avoid Brazil in the last 16, but they were unhappy to lose at the death to the Koreans.

“It would have been better to win, we knew it was going to be complicated,” Portugal defender Diogo Dalot said. “We could have controlled the game better but we can learn from that.”

Coach Fernando Santos said the defeat should serve as “a wake-up call” for his team.

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Ronaldo’s iffy Portugal perturbing ahead of tricky Uruguay tie

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Cutting corners is not enough for Cristiano Ronaldo’s sketchy Portugal, who with one game to spare in the group stages of the tournament could advance early to the next round if they take down Uruguay on Monday but words alone make the task easier said than done

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Uruguay have the World Cup edge in winning the tournament twice, albeit a few generations ago, and are more than familiar with Portugal, having knocked them out of the contest in 2018 in the round of 16.

Although Ronaldo stole the show on Thursday, setting a record by scoring in his fifth World Cup in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana, his team lacked inspiration and have much to do to shake off a dismal run of World Cup form since reaching the semi-finals in 2006.

Uruguay, while failing to score any goals or even record any shots on target in their opener against a gritty South Korea on Thursday, were composed, organized, and like a team capable of another deep World Cup run, with veterans and neophytes combining seamlessly and moving the ball with confidence.

All five goals of Portugal’s opening game came in a frenetic final 25 minutes likened by coach Fernando Santos to a storm. He said he is untroubled going into the Uruguay match because he knows what needs fixing.

“It’s nothing I’m worried about because I know that my players can do better than that, but that’s football,” he said. “I am totally confident that they can perform much better than this.”

Portugal, with a habit of going down to the wire in the World Cup group stages, may want to avoid that this time with a final match against South Korea, the team that ended Germany’s title defense in 2018.

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Equally, Uruguay will want to avoid defeat against Portugal so their fate can remain in their own hands in their final match against Ghana.

Uruguay have looked good since Diego Alonso took over late last year and turned things around in qualifying. He has every player available in his squad, except Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo, recovering from thigh surgery.

Alonso’s defense looked sturdy against South Korea and he is blessed with plenty of attacking options through Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani – despite their age – and Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez and Manchester United’s Facundo Pellistri, who looked dangerous on their World Cup debuts.

Alonso expects a tough game on Monday, and for the group to be decided in the final match.

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“Obviously the second game is key as is the third,” he said. “Whether we qualify or not depends on us.”

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World Cup: Ronaldo makes history as Portugal defeats Ghana.

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Cristiano Ronaldo drew a line under a tumultuous tournament build-up as he wrote his name in the record books to become the first man to score in five World Cups in a 3-2 victory for Portugal over Ghana on Thursday.

Ronaldo drilled home a penalty in the 65th minute of the Group H encounter to set his side on their way and while Andre Ayew equalized for Ghana, Portugal turned on the afterburners with two quick-fire goals to effectively seal the deal at Stadium 974.

Joao Felix produced a delicate finish to give them the lead and Rafael Leao added a third to hand Portugal their first win in the opening match of the World Cup since 2006, even if Osman Bukari pulled another one back for Ghana late on.

The win was not the most convincing for Portugal, and will come as some relief for Fernando Santos’s side, who top the group with three points and next face Uruguay on Monday when Ghana play South Korea.

For all Portugal’s enterprising attacking play and the goalscoring performances of Felix and Leao, it was Ronaldo who once again showed his unparalleled ability to draw the limelight.

“I think Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend… in 50 years’ time, we will still be talking about him,” Santos said.

The bitter end to Ronaldo’s second spell at Manchester United had dominated the build-up to the match in much the same way the forward seems to dominate the way Portugal play.

Ronaldo said he was “very proud” of his record and that he was living a “beautiful moment.”

“It’s a beautiful moment in my fifth World Cup,” Ronaldo told reporters. “We won. We started on a good foot. It’s a very important win. We know in these competitions the first match is fundamental.

“It’s another record too,” he said. “That makes me very proud. I am very happy for the team to have put on excellent performance. It was difficult, but we deserved to win.”

Asked about his acrimonious departure from Manchester United this week, Ronaldo said the only thing that mattered was Portugal’s win.

“All the rest, it doesn’t matter,” he added.

Against Ghana, Ronaldo seemed to exert a planetary gravitational pull on the ball, with teammates seeking him out at every opportunity.

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For vast swathes of the match, everything revolved around Ronaldo, who lurked threateningly on the edge of the Ghana box, with almost all his side’s attacking moves ending up at his feet.

He had two early chances, a one-on-one when a heavy touch let him down, and a header where he typically hovered in the air before glancing his effort wide.

He then smacked the ball in the back of the net after 31 minutes only to realize the referee had already blown his whistle for a foul.

For Ghana, the youngest squad at the Qatar World Cup, their early ambitions rarely stretched beyond the halfway line as the lowest-ranked side in the tournament set about keeping almost everyone behind the ball at all times in the first half.

Soft penalty
Most of the action was condensed into a relatively short period after the 60th minute with Portugal taking the lead when awarded a soft penalty after Ronaldo went down following minimal shoulder-to-shoulder contact with Mohammed Salisu.

Ronaldo closed his eyes as he waited to begin his run-up, stuttered, and smashed the ball into the net to the keeper’s right.

The entire Portugal team raced down the touchline to pile on top of the 37-year-old, who surpassed Pele, Uwe Seeler, and Miroslav Klose as the only player to find the net in five separate men’s World Cups.

It is the 10th consecutive major tournament in which Ronaldo has found the net although Ghana coach Otto Addo was not in the mood to be charitable.

“It was the wrong decision… It was actually a foul against us,” he said of the penalty award.

“If somebody scores a goal, congratulations. But this was a gift. A special gift from the referee.”

As it was, his Ghana side fired back quickly when Mohammed Kudus’s cross bobbled its way through a defender’s legs to Ayew who tapped home.

Portugal, however, then revved into gear with Felix latching onto a Bruno Fernandes through-ball and lifting his finish nonchalantly over the keeper.

Fernandes was the architect of their third goal too, playing another superb through-ball for substitute Leao to slide his finish across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

There was tension at the end, however, as Ghana pulled another goal back with Osman Bukari, appearing unmarked in the box, heading in a cross from the left in the 89th minute, giving a sliver of hope to Ghana’s fans behind that goal.

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There was to be no fairytale ending for the Ghanaians though and the night belonged to Ronaldo.

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Nigerians react after Super Eagles loss to Portugal.

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A cross-section of Nigerians on social media have reacted to Super Eagles’ international friendly 4-0 defeat to Portugal on Thursday night.

Noble Reporters Media reports that a first-half brace from Bruno Fernandes and a second-half goal each from Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario gave Portugal the victory over Jose Peseiro’s side.

The match was played at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon.

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Reacting to the development, some Nigerians on Twitter expressed sadness over the outcome of the result, thanking God that the Super Eagles did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, while others criticized Emmanuel Dennis for his display against Portugal.

Also, another section called for the sack of Super Eagles coach, Jose Peseiro, while others singled out Bright Osayi-Samuel and Samuel Chukwueze as the only players that performed brilliantly against Portugal.

Here are some comments gathered from Twitter:

@Mohnice_, “You Look at how the Portugal vs Nigeria game is going on and you thank God the super eagles didn’t qualify for the world. Because I don’t think there is a team we can manage to beat with these bums called footballers.”

@IfeoluwaIsaac2, “Bruno Fernandes has forgotten most, or his fans are Nigerians… He’s singlehandedly tearing our National team apart.”

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@dezfootie, “Only positive for Nigeria in this 4-0 loss to Portugal is debutant Bright Osayi-Samuel. Faced with the daunting task of silencing PSG’s Nuno Mendes & he did so in brilliant fashion. Conceding & later winning a penalty.”

@Regular_NiceGuy, “The sad thing about the Portugal vs Nigeria match is that Nigerians don’t even have light to watch the match.”

@PoojaMedia, “Are “most” Super Eagles players overrated? Because why are we playing like this?”

@gyaigyimii, “The super eagles’ Twitter page stopped giving updates after halftime, why are you running???”

@sportingshina, “Peseiro is one of Pinnick’s legacies. The earlier we fire him now, the better for the Super Eagles. Man is tactically inept. Imagine it is Brazil, the super eagles are playing tonight.”

@biolakazeem, “The Super Eagles are completely broken. I struggle to remember a period when the players were so unremarkable & the team’s overall output in performance and results was so dire. They play like strangers & the lack of passion is startling. Wonder what the fix is.”

@IamDannyben, “See as Portugal turns our Super Eagles into super fowls.”

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@zaMusbeyNe_, “Nigeria will not win anything with this squad. We need to stop calling unserious players to play for the Super Eagles.”

@NurudeenObalola, “Disgraceful performance by the Super Eagles vs Portugal. Only Osayi-Samuel & Chukwueze can hold their heads high. I don’t even understand where Dennis got his arrogance from. Fought everyone off, only to take a rubbish penalty. Time to enjoy the World Cup without these guys.”

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Manchester United still on goalkeeping targets; De Gea sinks.

Manchester United have scouted Porto and Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa at least half a dozen times this season as Erik ten Hag considers his long-term options to be the club’s number one, 90min understands.

Ten Hag and United’s decision makers have a big choice to make in goal over the coming months, with current number one David de Gea out of contract in June 2023.

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United have an option to extend the Spaniard’s contract by a further year but the decision to proceed on that is complicated by De Gea’s salary, which sits among the club’s most expensive contracts at around £375,000 a week. Long-term concerns over De Gea’s capability to adapt to Ten Hag’s system mean he may no longer justify the earnings.

De Gea is open to renegotiating his deal to extend on reduced terms, but as it stands United are considering all options on the table as well as looking at alternatives. Costa is among them, though United’s potential task of signing the player became more difficult this week as the 23-year-old signed an extension to his contract with Porto until 2027 – with a raised release clause of €75m.

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Such a move would come at great expense to United and they are also known to be targeting additions at right back and at centre forward in 2023, while central midfield remains an area in need of strengthening, while already having overspent on their summer budget in 2022.

United scouts are understood to be pushing the idea of pursuing Costa to decision makers, and he does fit the bill of a modern day goalkeeper – which both Liverpool with Alisson and Manchester City with Ederson have justified in recent years – capable of strong reflexes and distribution. Costa has also become renowned for his incredible record of saving penalties.

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The club are understood to be in quandary of how to proceed in goal, with 90min learning that Ten Hag is falling for De Gea’s work ethic and presence around Carrington and on the pitch. De Gea made a miraculous double save during Thursday’s win over Real Sociedad and also earned United three points in the win over West Ham on Sunday, with outstanding saves from Kurt Zouma and Declan Rice.

United also have Dean Henderson, who has long eyed the club’s first choice goalkeeping slot, out on loan with Nottingham Forest at present and are due to make a decision on him upon his return at the end of the season, while Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak has long been admired.

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Portugal Parliament vote to confirm ‘mercy killing’

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Several doctors must green-light the procedure, while a psychiatrist would be called in if there are doubts about the patient’s ability to make a “free and informed” choice.

Portugal’s parliament on Friday passed a law allowing medically assisted dying, putting the Catholic-majority country on course to become the fourth in Europe to legalise euthanasia.

Before coming into force the bill must first be signed into law by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a staunch Catholic and conservative who was re-elected only last weekend.

The president — who has yet to make public his position on the issue — could also either use his veto against the legislation, or refer it to the country’s constitutional court for further study.

The bill was adopted in parliament by 136 votes to 78 with four abstentions — thanks largely to a majority of votes from the ruling Socialist Party which had allowed its MPs to vote freely.

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If the president did decide to exercise his veto, a second vote by lawmakers would override it.

Lawmakers had approved proposals aimed at changing the law in February, setting up the vote despite a campaign by the Church for a national referendum on the issue.

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Socialist MP Isabel Moreira, a constitutional law expert who helped draft the law, said that it would respect “free choice and every individual’s independence”.

– ‘Right to choose’ –
The bill legalises access to assisted suicide for adult patients in a situation of “extreme suffering and irreversible damage”.

Euthanasia is legal in three European countries — Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg — while others allow terminally ill people to refuse life-maintaining treatment or to have help to die.

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“People deserve the right to be able to choose,” retired oncologist Jorge Espirito Santo, who has campaigned for years to make euthanasia legal in Portugal, said before the vote.

He said he was expecting a “historic day”.

The Catholic Church, which predominates in Portugal, campaigned against the bill both among its own faithful and those of other denominations.

Its bishops’ conference immediately expressed outrage at parliament’s approval of the legislation, calling the law an “unprecedented step backwards”.

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The Portuguese Catholic Doctors’ Association called on the president to veto the legislation, saying in a statement that “doctors are not the agents of death!”

In neighbouring Spain, the parliament voted by a wide margin in December to approve a bill that will allow euthanasia under strict conditions, despite fierce opposition from the Catholic church and conservative parties.

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#Newsworthy

Rafael Leao of AC Milan scores fastest ever Serie A ‘6 Sec’ goal

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The previous fastest goal had been Paolo Poggi’s for Piacenza against Fiorentina in December 2001 after eight seconds of play.

AC Milan forward Rafael Leao scored after just six seconds for the fastest-ever goal in Serie A history on Sunday at Sassuolo.

Milan launched straight into an attack from kick-off, with Turkish midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu setting up Leao to slot home.

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Portuguese Leao, who usually plays on the left wing, started at centre-forward with star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic still out with a leg muscle problem and his replacement Ante Rebic also injured.

It was the 21-year-old’s third league goal this season and fourth in all competitions.

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#NobleSport

Ronaldo maintain ‘Goaless career games’ against France as Portugal exits UEFA N.L

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Amidst Portugal’s defeat, a report by the ESPN has revealed of a new record that their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo marched on Saturday.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal were edged out of the UEFA Nations League Competition after suffering to a 1-0 defeat to their bitter rivals France in a mouth watering clash that was played at Lisbon in Portugal on Saturday night.

After the 2 teams played to goalless draw at half time,Chelsea Skipper Ng’olo Kante managed to put the visitors forward with a tap in on the 53rd minute after Adrien Rabiot’s shot was parried by Portuguese keeper Rui Patricio. Kante’s goal was enough to sail the visitors to the Semis.

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After failing to find the net, yesterdays’ match became the 6th in which Ronaldo had failed to score against France.

This became the most number of matches in which Ronaldo had gone without scoring against a single national team.

“Ronaldo has 0 goals in 6 career games vs. France.That’s his most games vs. a single national team without scoring,” wrote ESPN.

Despite the undesirable record,Ronaldo boasts of 102 international goals which puts him just 7 goals behind the all time international goal scorer,Ali Daei of Iran.


#Newsworthy…