Ronaldo relishes 'beautiful moment' with new World Cup record in Portugal triumph

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Ronaldo relishes 'beautiful moment' with new World Cup record in Portugal triumph
Updated
Ronaldo scored the penalty that gave Portugal the lead against Ghana
Ronaldo scored the penalty that gave Portugal the lead against Ghana
Reuters
Cristiano Ronaldo (37) said he was "very proud" to have become the first player to score in five men's World Cups as he helped Portugal to a 3-2 victory over Ghana on Thursday at the start of their campaign in Qatar.

"It was a beautiful moment, my fifth World Cup," Ronaldo said in brief comments to reporters. "We won. We started on a good foot. It's a very important win. We know in these competitions the first match is fundamental."

Asked about his acrimonious departure from Manchester United this week, Ronaldo said the only thing that mattered was Portugal's win.

"All the rest, it doesn't matter," he added.

Portugal coach Fernando Santos hailed his captain who won a second-half penalty and converted it himself to open the scoring against Ghana.

"I think Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend," Santos told reporters. "In 50 years time, we will still be talking about him."

Cristiano Ronaldo's heat map against Ghana
StatsPerform

Ronaldo was substituted in the 88th minute to a rousing reception around Stadium 974 in Doha at the start of what is likely to be his last World Cup.

Santos rebuffed suggestions by his Ghanaian opposite number Otto Addo that the penalty decision was incorrect - given for a shove by defender Mohammed Salisu (23) - and should have been reviewed by US referee Ismail Elfath via the VAR system.

"If the VAR tells the referee that he has to have a look, he will have a look," he said. "If the VAR didn’t call over the referee it's because they watched the images and there was nothing to see."

Santos, in charge of Portugal since 2014 and who led them to the 2016 European Championship title, said the game had its "highs and lows" for Portugal and he was unhappy about conceding two goals.

"Now we have to look and see what happened with the players and respond to it," he said.

Portugal, who top Group H, face Uruguay - who drew 0-0 with South Korea on Thursday - in their next match on Monday.

Catch up with Portugal's win with Flashscore.