FIFA paid brilliant tribute to Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo after his country's heartbreaking exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on Saturday (December 10).
Ronaldo's Portugal were beaten 1-0 by Morocco in the quarterfinals in what was likely the 37-year-old's final appearance in the competition. FIFA paid him a tribute by creating a video collection of his eight goals across five editions. Ronaldo scored his first World Cup goal against Iran in 2006.
His second came in 2010, against North Korea. He scored one against Ghana in the 2014 edition. A hat-trick against Spain, including a last-gasp free-kick equaliser, is perhaps the best performance of his World Cup career. He also scored a header against Morocco that year. Ronaldo netted only once in the ongoing 2022 edition, against Ghana from the spot in the opening game.
Ronaldo's teammate, Bruno Fernandes, meanwhile, slammed the match officials after the game.
Fernandes said that Argentine referee Facundo Tello shouldn't have been given the responsibility, as La Albiceleste are alive in the competition. The Manchester United midfielder said (via ESPN):
"I don't know if they're going to give the cup to Argentina. I don't care, I'm going to say what I think, and screw them. It's very strange that a referee from a team that's still in the cup officiates us. They've clearly tilted the field against us."
Pepe echoed the same sentiment, saying:
"We dominated the game 100 percent of the time, I think what the referee did today; this is an Argentinian referee. After what Messi said yesterday it seems there's something very weird. We couldn't play in the second half because the referee kept stopping the game."
This was Portugal's first World Cup quarterfinal in 12 years, but the Selecao slumped to a shock defeat to Morocco, who will play France in the last four on Wednesday (December 14).
Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal manager non-comittal about staying on
Fernando Santos benched Cristiano Ronaldo for the knockout games of Portugal's FIFA World Cup campaign. However, after their exit, Santos' future is now up in the air.
The Portugal manager said after the game:
"I think we could have done more, and we failed to do so, so I don't think we should blame the referee. I reiterate what I said before the competition, I have a discussion with the president, and when we go back to Portugal, we will deal with the issue of my contract."
Santos has been at Portugal's helm since 2014 and guided the team to the 2016 European Championships title in France.