Cristiano Ronaldo said on Thursday he had put his recent troubles at Manchester United behind him after scoring in a record-breaking fifth World Cup as Portugal squeezed past Ghana 3-2.
The aging icon Ronaldo pulverized a 65th-minute penalty to stay ahead of Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, all of whom scored in four World Cups days after parting ways with Manchester United.
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He then honored reporters in attendance with a two-minute press conference in which he answered one question despite being named man of the match in Portugal’s first Group H victory.
“It was a great moment, my fifth World Cup, we won and we started with our good foot. It’s a very important win, we know the first game is crucial, but the world record is also something I’m very proud of,” said Ronaldo.
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Premier League giant United announced this week that Ronaldo is leaving after criticizing the club and manager Erik ten Hag in a TV interview.
But he has shown no signs of strain from the bitter end to his time at Old Trafford, which saw Joao Felix and rising star Rafael Leao also score.
“It was an important step, it was a week that closed this chapter. It’s closed and we want to start well,” Ronaldo added.
“I could help my team and the rest doesn’t matter.”
Portugal coach Fernando Santos hailed the 37-year-old, who is playing in what is likely to be his last World Cup, as a legend of the game.
“I think people will keep talking about his performance, he is a phenomenon, a legend like others in football,” said Santos.
“In 50 years we will continue to talk about him.”
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