Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday went past Argentina talisman Lionel Messi to bag his seventh FIFA World Cup Man of the Match award -the most for a player- in a match against Ghana at the Stadium 974 in Doha. A Seleção won the game 3-2.
Messi and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands have been named Player of the Match on six occasions.
Ronaldo scored a controversial penalty in the 65th minute in Portugal’s campaign opener to register his eighth goal in the tournament’s history in 18 appearances. He went past Messi on this front as well, the Argentine forward having netted seven in 19 WC games.
Since making his debut for Portugal in 2003, Ronaldo has netted 117 goals in 191 international appearances, making him the world record holder for most international goals, surpassing Iranian legend Ali Daei.
With the goal against the Black Stars, Ronaldo also became the second-oldest goalscorer in the history of the World Cup after Roger Milla.
The Portuguese luminary has appeared in every edition of the quadrennial event, since his debut in 2006. He is currently the only player to score in five World Cups.
Ronaldo now needs one more goal at the Qatar 2022 to eclipse the legendary Eusebio, who has nine World Cup goals, as Portugal’s all-time leading goal-scorer in World Cups.
Ronaldo is now also both the youngest (21 years 132 days) and oldest goalscorer (37 years 295 days) for Portugal in World Cups.