2022-11-25 07:08:49

Cristiano Ronaldos place in history is secure his position in the sport is not

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The Independent
By Richard Jolly

It may say something about Fifas fondness for the rich and famous that the man-of-the-match award in this World Cup tends to go to the player with the greatest profile, not the one who produced the finest display in the preceding 90 minutes. Kevin De Bruyne was utterly bemused to find himself the recipient when Belgium beat Canada. Gareth Bale got the prize for a penalty against the United States, Luka Modric perhaps for being Luka Modric. But none is as rich and famous as Cristiano Ronaldo.

His status affords certain privileges, perhaps including winning and scoring a spot-kick that, as Mohammed Salisu appeared to win the ball, the Ghana manager Otto Addo deemed a special gift from the referee. But with his goal rendering him the governing bodys choice as officially the outstanding player in Portugals 3-2 victory, Ronaldo was summoned to speak.

The last time many had heard from him was during the explosive interview with Piers Morgan that prompted Manchester United to release him: no pay-off, no transfer fee, no fond farewell. It was an ignominious end. In effect, he is the sacked superstar, the unwanted incomparable, the legend who lost his job because he was a loose cannon. But in his first utterance as an out-of-work footballer, Ronaldo held his tongue.

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