December 14, 2022
Against all odds, Portugal went out of the World Cup in an elimination game against Morocco and Ronaldo left the pitch in tears. Was this his last big tournament for the Seleção? Where did things started to go wrong for the Portuguese National Team?
Portugal's dreams of winning the 2022 FIFA World Cup were shattered in the competition's quarter-finals, when the Seleção succumbed at the hands of the tournament's surprise, Morocco. Ronaldo, who had high hopes of becoming a pivotal figure of his team and of this World Cup's edition, went through a roller coaster of emotions since the first day of the competition. The Portuguese superstar knew all eyes were going to be on him and despite featuring in the starting eleven in the first three games, he ended up relegated to the bench in the remaining games Portugal had in the tournament. The odds for Ronaldo to score at least a goal in the knockout rounds also dropped considerably and even opportunities like Vulkanbet promo code no deposit became even more valuable. So, what exactly went wrong for the Portuguese superstar in Qatar?
Cristiano Ronaldo - Memories
As we all know, Ronaldo missed the pre-season works back in July and August, justifying his absence due to personal reasons. There was a lot of speculation about the real motives behind this decision, especially because it was already public that the Portuguese player was trying to force his way out of Manchester United, knowing that his future at the club had its days counted.
Nevertheless, the reality is that Ronaldo didn't go through the classic pre-season training regime, which like it or not, always has a huge impact in the way an athlete prepares for the season ahead. And in a World Cup year where the tournament is played roughly 3 months after the season has started, a good or a bad pre-season is even more critical to influence how a player performs in the biggest stage. Unfortunately for the 37-year old, not having had the opportunity to participate in the pre-season seems to have had a very negative impact not only in his World Cup campaign, but also in his performances for Manchester United.
There's no other way to look at it. Ronaldo will turn 38 years old next February and some of his abilities are declining as time passes. The Portuguese forward has managed to adapt his game to every moment throughout his career, but we might be reaching a stage where it's becoming more difficult to see Ronaldo being as influential as he has always been in the past.
His speed is clearly not the same he had in his late 20's. His dribbling success rate has also decreased a lot in the last few years, especially after the knee problems he had in 2016.
Ronaldo and Fernando Santos always had a great personal and professional relationship until this World Cup kicked off in Qatar. The Portuguese superstar was quoted praising the Portuguese manager in many occasions throughout his career and the 68-year old engineer never got tired of claiming that Ronaldo was the best player in the world.
It seems everything changed in Qatar and the relationship between the two will never go back to what it was before... Ronaldo started in the first 3 group matches in this World Cup, but when he was replaced in the 65th minute of the game against South Korea, he was caught by the TV cameras complaining about his coach's decision. From that moment onwards, the tension between player and manager started building up and culminated with the decision of relegating CR7 to the bench.
Now that Portugal saw the exit door of the World Cup in Qatar, there's a lot of expectation to see how the Portuguese Football Federation will handle this case. Most analysts believe that Fernando Santos will be invited to step away from his managerial position, which will inevitably grant Ronaldo more possibilities to return to his starting spot in the Seleção.
Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Manchester United in the Premier League is on December 21, against Burnley. You can watch Man United vs Burnley, Argentina vs Croatia, Aston Villa vs Liverpool, France vs Morocco, Arsenal vs West Ham, and Brentford vs Tottenham, all matches provided from our football live game pages.
Manchester United next game:
Man United vs Burnley kick-off time (21-12-2022):
Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 04:00
India (New Delhi) | UTC/GMT+5.30: 01:30
Italy (Turin) | UTC/GMT+1: 21:00
Spain (Madrid) | UTC/GMT+1: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+0: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 17:00
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-5: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-8: 12:00