Cristiano Ronaldo’s first game since leaving Manchester United saw him win and convert a penalty as his Portugal team won 3-2 against Ghana in the World Cup.
The match saw Ronaldo set new records, being the first player to score in five World Cups and is now the youngest and oldest World Cup goalscorer in Portugal’s history.
However, it’s fair to say that Manchester United fans are unlikely to be disappointed that the star is no longer with the club, because his overall performance was disappointing.
Ronaldo went on goal in the first ten minutes but his poor control allowed the goalkeeper to stifle the ball and it went to a corner.
Minutes later, the 37-year-old headed in just a couple of yards, but managed to deflect the ball when it seemed easier to score.
The legendary striker managed to get the ball into the net on 30 minutes but clearly pushed a defender on his approach to goal.
ITV commentator Ally McCoist, a famous striker in his own right, complained that Ronaldo was “positioning himself for a shot rather than taking part in the game”.
Before half time, a cross went over Ronaldo’s head and instead of realizing it had gone to a teammate behind him, he was laughing it off and then stepped in the way as Felix tried to cross the field. ball towards the goal.
McCoist said that “the big man shuts down here, shuts down completely, not knowing that Joao Felix is behind him, there’s no excuse for that.”
Nonetheless, it was the five-time Ballon d’Or winner who created the breakthrough in the game. He won a penalty, which looked dubious enough to be put on VAR, but it wasn’t, and he then converted it himself.
Overall, Ronaldo had a 78% passing accuracy, 4 shots: 2 on target and an expected goal ratio (xg) of 1.19 (stats via sofaScore.com).
But by all accounts it was a spotty performance that did little to convince fans that United had made a mistake in letting him go.