Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal ended the group stage campaign at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a disappointing defeat at the hands of South Korea in their Group H clash. While Portugal had already locked their last-16 berth with two wins from their first two group games against Ghana and Uruguay, they however put on a dismal display against the Koreans. On the other hand, South Korea was happy to take all three points as they qualified for the next round ahead of Uruguay and Ghana.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos continued his protocol which he has been following from the very first game, taking off Ronaldo in the closing stages of the game. Santos took off the 37-year-old in the 88th minute against Ghana, and 82nd against Uruguay. However, it came earlier for Ronaldo against South Korea, as he got replaced right in the 65th minute. But Santos’ decision was justified by the former Manchester United’s drab performance throughout the 65 minutes, as he now made the worst XI of the tournament of SofaScore.
Cristiano Ronaldo gets an average rating by SofaScore
Cristiano Ronaldo may have entered the tournament on the back of all his drama with Manchester United, but that didn’t stop him from delivering for his country. He kickstarted his campaign with the Selecaos as a free agent, a status he has acquired for the first time in his career. But after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, where he absolutely bashed United for a number of reasons, even accusing them of “betraying” him, and also called out their manager Erik ten Hag for “disrespecting” him, the Red Devils had to part ways with him a mutual contract termination.
Many had doubted whether he was in his bet shape to lead Portugal at what could possibly be his last ever FIFA World Cup finals. But he shut the doubters, by winning a penalty and subsequently scoring it against Ghana, as Portugal held their nerves to win 3-2. Against Uruguay as well, Ronaldo was looking in high spirits, and thought he had scored, only for the goal to be rightly awarded to Bruno Fernandes. And a blank against South Korea meant Ronaldo ended the group stage with just a goal to his name.
As a result, he has made it to SofaScore’s ‘worst team of the group stages’, alongside some other performers who have disappointed. To add to the embarrassment, Cristiano Ronaldo has received a mediocre rating of 6.37, not even the highest among the other 10 players of the worst XI, with Canada’s Alistair Johnston taking away the plaudits by earning a 6.4 rating. Hosts Qatar would also hide their faces, as they have the maximum representation with 4 players in the worst XI.
Qatar’s Aissa Barsham took the goalkeeper’s spot with a 6.1 rating, as Canada’s Alistair Johnston with a rating of 6.4, and Qatar’s Homam Ahmed with 6.2 occupy the right and left full-backs’ position respectively. Costa Rican center-back duo Francisco Calvo with 6.25 and Oscar Duarte with 6.3 complete the backline. The midfield is formed by Canada’s Tajon Buchanan [6.10], Saudi Arabia’s Abdulellah Al-Malki [6.15], Qatar’s Karim Boudiaf [6.30] and Australia’s Leckie [6.33]. And finally Cristiano Ronaldo [6.37] and Qatar’s Almoez Ali [6.23] are the attackers who made the cut.
However, SofaScore’s Ronaldo choice can be justified, as the former Real Madrid player hasn’t contributed anything significant than the sole strike against Ghana. Across the three games, Ronaldo has posted a horrible 2 shots on target, 3 big chances missed, 4 duels won, 5 times dispossessed, 1 error leading to goal and zero dribbles. Looking at the numbers, he was bound to be among those who have failed to impress for their respective teams. Ronaldo needs to bring his ‘A’ game sooner than later at the tournament if Portugal are to go deep from here. They next face a solid team in Switzerland in the Round of 16 on December 7.