These are the few World Cups that Cristiano Ronaldo has had and it's not over yet

From claiming a teammate's goal to being brought down from the side, Ronaldo is hardly a more central figure even if he is no longer on the pitch.

These are some of the World Cups that Cristiano Ronaldo has experienced. Forget for a moment the self-immolation of the Piers Morgan interview that burned his legacy at Manchester United and also seems to have ended his career at the elite level of European football. Instead focus only on what has happened since the start of this tournament. There is still much to be done.

Since winning and converting a highly questionable penalty in Portugal's opening game, he's claimed to score a goal he didn't touch, set another up for opponents by curling at set pieces, drifting off the pitch in a barrage, and, as a result of that outburst, he is now had been left out of the starting line-up - a decision that marked a 6-1 victory and arguably the best team performance seen in Qatar.

An exile at club level, an international replacement: the most popular, famous and marketable man in the world today among jobs arguably at the lowest point of his career - a career that all but one of his colleagues, who have defined back to what it means to be successful in this sport, which has reshaped the sport itself over the years. What now for players who almost have it all? What's next for the man who looks set to lose it all? Yes, a World Cup quarter-final, maybe.

'Maybe' being the operative word. Will he play? Gonçalo Ramos is doing everything in his power to ensure Ronaldo does not quickly reclaim his place in the last eight against Morocco. The Benfica striker must surely hold on to his place after a display that delivered the goals Ronaldo should have guaranteed, but also a lot more. "Goncalo has different characteristics," said head coach Fernando Santos. “He is very dynamic. That's the observation I made and that's what he ended up showing us."

Ramos' movement off the ball when Portugal had possession and his willingness to chase the Swiss on his way out could not have provided a greater contrast to Ronaldo's more stationary and static interpretation of the centre-forward role. By offering a different angle for the likes of Joao Felix, Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva to discover, Ramos brought a whole new dimension to the game for Portugal, who disavowed their reputation as a sour and conservative outfit under Santos and instead played some of the worst games. most expansive. tournament football.

This should be the way forward from here. You'd think so, at least, although when Santos was asked about the prospect of Ronaldo winning his place back, he was predictably non-committal. "All the players who were with me can be used and if they are not included in the starting 11 they can be played later," he said.

But here is a man who has known Ronaldo longer than any other prominent figure who is still working in football, who helped raise him through the youth system of Sporting Clube de Portugal, and who still feels fully capable of describing their relationship as "very close". Santos vowed that emotions did not and would not play a part in his decision. "Ronaldo and I have never misinterpreted the human and personal aspects with managers and players," he said. However, there is also an olive branch.

Santos may have made his displeasure with Ronaldo's rampage against the South Korean public but that is now water under the bridge. “This is something that is done and done,” he stressed. “It is also important to see examples of the history of this player. He is one of the best players in the world and therefore all we have to do is go in collectively." It seems that even from here, there is a potential route back to the starting line-up.

On a night rich in symbolism and significance, in which the storyline effectively wrote itself, one quirk was Ronaldo's reaction to every goal - particularly the five that were scored while he was still on the bench. Instead of looking sullen and stiff-faced, Ronaldo smiled, clapped and even celebrated some of his six goals. He played the role of the perfect teammate, showing none of the anger that many would have expected. It was the one aspect of the evening that didn't quite fit into the prepackaged narrative.

And if it feels out of character for her, then the best explanation for why she's acting this way is probably the simplest. Ronaldo is smart. His pride may be great, as well as his sense of pride, but both are big enough to take a beating for something greater. He will be keenly aware that he is now two games away from the World Cup final. Exploding his career at United cost him the chance to appear in the Europa League playoffs. Doing the same at international level would cost him the chance to play at the top of the sport.

So he applauded, he cheered, he practically ran through the post-match mixed zone, turning down the chance to get back at those responsible for one of the biggest humiliations of his international career. If he has to do all that to have a chance to play on a stage he believes he still deserves, in a game he believes he is destined to play, so be it. Your first instinct when the team sheet is published in Lusail on Tuesday night is to write a career obituary. The urge grows stronger as events unfold and the night progresses. But these are just a few World Cups that Ronaldo has had and it's not over yet. This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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