Cristiano Ronaldo said he was involved in a verbal spat with a South Korean player who criticised him for failing to leave the field quickly enough when he was substituted during Portugal’s 2-1 World Cup defeat on Friday.
Portugal still topped Group H despite the result, which also sent South Korea into the last 16, but Ronaldo looked annoyed as he slowly walked off when his number went up in the 65th minute.
“It happened when I was substituted. The Korean player was telling me to go off more quickly and I told him to be quiet, because he hasn’t got any authority,” Ronaldo told reporters.
“If I wasn’t going quickly enough, it was up to the referee to say so. There shouldn’t be any controversy, it was just in the heat of the moment.”
A much-changed Portugal had taken a fifth-minute lead through Ricardo Horta but the Koreans, who had to win to stand any chance of staying alive, hit back in the 27th minute through Kim Young-gwon.
Portugal skipper Cristiano Ronaldo played a part in the Korean equaliser, turning his back on a corner and the ball hitting him to set up Kim.
South Korea and their skipper Son, in a mask after recent surgery, needed to score again but they failed to really trouble Portugal until Son set up Hwang in injury time after a fine run.
Before a ball was even kicked a roar went up at Education City Stadium every time Ronaldo’s face popped up on the big screen, even during the national anthems. There were some jeers too and chants of “Messi, Messi”.
South Korea coach Paulo Bento, the former Portuguese international, had to watch from the stands after he was sent off following the final whistle of the Koreans’ 3-2 defeat to Ghana.
He saw his men fall behind after just five minutes when defender Pepe played the ball down the right to Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot.
Dalot easily evaded a weak Korean challenge and pulled the ball back from the byline for winger Horta to fire unmarked into the back of the net in front of a 44,000 crowd.
With qualification already secure, Portugal made six changes from the team that beat Uruguay 2-0, Dalot and Horta among those bought in.
But they still looked dangerous every time they went forward in the first half against a Korean defence missing Napoli’s Kim Min-jae.
South Korean skipper Son, the Spurs forward, was yet to get going at this World Cup after surgery for a fracture around his left eye at the start of November.
Wearing a black mask to protect the wound, the 30-year-old showed glimpses of his brilliant best as South Korea chased the win they so badly needed.
South Korea were threatening to get on top and in the 27th minute they were level.
The 37-year-old Ronaldo, surely playing at his last World Cup, unwittingly played a central role in the South Korean goal.
Currently without a club after his bitter departure from Manchester United, the forward turned his back on a Korean corner and the ball hit his shoulder and fell straight to defender Kim to turn in.
The second half was more of the same — Portugal enjoying more possession and stroking the ball around but South Korea and an increasingly influential Son a threat on the break.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos brought Ronaldo off on 65 minutes to save his legs, then attacker Hwang came on and proved to be the hero at the death.
Bruno Fernandes scored twice to give Portugal a 2-0 victory over Uruguay on Monday and send them into the knock-out stages of the World Cup alongside France and Brazil.
The Manchester United midfielder scored a cross-cum-shot nine minutes into the second half and then added an injury-time penalty following a handball by Jose Maria Gimenez.
The match at Doha’s spectacular 89,000-capacity Lusail Stadium also featured the first pitch invader of the Qatar tournament — the man carried messages of support for Ukraine and Iranian women and had a rainbow flag.
With Portugal already through, Uruguay must now beat Ghana in their final Group H match to stand any chance of also progressing.
Both sides made three changes from their opening matches, with Portugal bringing in veteran Pepe for the injured Danilo Pereira, who suffered cracked ribs in training.
Pepe became the third-oldest outfield player in World Cup history.
Portugal dominated the first half, hogging the ball and creating several chances, but without ever testing Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet.
Uruguay’s forwards, Edinson Cavani and Darwin Nunez were starved of the ball but the South Americans still had the best opportunity of the first period.
Rodrigo Bentancur picked the ball up in his own half and surged forwards, slipping between two defenders to find himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Diogo Costa, who spread himself well to save the midfielder’s shot.
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was largely anonymous in the first 45 minutes but did delight fans with a shoulder pass to pick out William Carvalho, who volleyed over.
The main drama came after the break.
Moments after a pitch invader ran onto the pitch carrying an LGBTQ rainbow flag and with a message supporting Ukraine and Iranian women on his T-shirt, only to be spectacularly tackled by security, Portugal went in front.
Fernandes created space for himself on the left and curled an inswinging cross into the mixer, with Ronaldo breaking the offside trap to attempt a glancing header.
As the ball nestled in the goal, Ronaldo wheeled away in celebration but FIFA decided he had not touched the ball, thus denying him a ninth World Cup goal, which would have put him level with Portuguese great Eusebio.
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso threw on forwards Maxi Gomez and Luis Suarez as the South Americans belatedly began to exert some pressure, and both came close to an equaliser.
Gomez’s rasping drive from 20 yards came back off the post with Costa beaten, while Suarez hit the side netting from close range.
With the 90 minutes almost up, Fernandes nutmegged Gimenez, whose trailing hand diverted the ball away from the midfielder and prevented him from finding himself one-on-one with Rochet.
Iranian referee Alireza Faghani awarded the spot-kick after a VAR check and Fernandes sent Rochet the wrong way after his signature hop, skip run-up.
He then almost completed a hat-trick but hit the post from 20 yards.
Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score at five World Cups on Thursday when he scored the opening goal from the penalty spot in Portugal’s 3-2 win over Ghana.
The 37-year-old set the record when he smashed home his spot-kick in the 65th minute at the 974 Stadium in Doha to send Fernando Santos’ team to a victory which moved them top of Group H, two points ahead of Uruguay and South Korea.
Joao Felix and rising star Rafael Leao made sure of the win after Andre Ayew’s leveller had briefly threatened to ruin Ronaldo’s party.
Osman Bukari netted in the final minute for Ghana but the tournament’s lowest-ranked side couldn’t pull off a shock and sit bottom of the group.
Ronaldo overtakes Pele and Germans Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose, who all scored in four World Cups, after being brought down by Mohammed Salisu and taking the penalty himself.
Manchester United announced this week that Ronaldo will leave with immediate effect after he criticised the club and manager Erik ten Hag in a TV interview, but he has showed no signs of strain from the bitter end to his time at Old Trafford.
All the attention pre-match was on Ronaldo and whether he could break the record and he had the perfect chance to do so in the 10th minute.
Mohammed Kudus gave the ball away sloppily in midfield and Otavio slipped Ronaldo through, only for the once clinical finisher to miscontrol the pass and clatter into Ghana goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi as he tried to poke home.
And shortly afterwards Ronaldo headed Raphael Guerreiro’s deep cross wide from close range, a chance that in his prime he would have been almost guaranteed to score.
He did have the ball in the net just after the half-hour mark when it dropped to him in the area, but he was harshly judged by referee Ismail Elfath to have pushed Alexander Djiku before turning and stroking home a classy finish.
Ronaldo was in fact Portugal’s only real goal threat against what on paper is Group H’s weakest team, who were backed by an enthusiastic set of supporters who put on more of a show in the stands than their workaday players initially did on the pitch.
Ajax midfielder Kudus had the crowd briefly off their feet 10 minutes after the break when he burst forward against an exposed Portugal defence and let off a powerful shot which in the end sailed comfortably wide of Diogo Costa’s left-hand post.
Ronaldo then crashed in his record-breaking penalty but as the chorus of cheers and chants of his name started to die down a previously dull game sparked into life, Ayew stunning the crowd by tapping in Kudus’ pull-back in the 73rd minute.
However Felix and Leao made sure Portugal would take the points with two lovely finishes in as many minutes, both strikes set up by Ronaldo’s former United teammate Bruno Fernandes.
Bukari then imitated Ronaldo with his goal celebration after heading home completely unmarked, but Portugal held out for a big win on a historic day.
Cristiano Ronaldo insisted Monday that his explosive row with Manchester United would not impact Portugal’s chances at the World Cup as they prepare for their opening match in Qatar with Ghana.
Last week superstar Ronaldo lashed out at Premier League club United and the team’s coach Erik ten Hag in a TV interview after being relegated to a peripheral role this season.
“I have no doubt that this recent episode, that interview, and other episodes with other players that happen sometimes, can sometimes shake the player but won’t shake the team,” Ronaldo said at a press conference at the Portugal camp.
Ronaldo, who is set to start his fifth and likely final World Cup, was suspended for the Premier League club’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea after refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham last month.
The 37-year-old claimed during the interview that he felt “provoked” into that reaction by Ten Hag and on Monday was unrepentant about giving the interview.
“I don’t have to worry about what others think, I talk when I want to,” he said.
“Everybody in the team knows who I am, what I believe in.”
Ronaldo said frosty interaction with his team-mate for club and country Bruno Fernandes, along with images of him grabbing Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo by the head, had been being overblown by the media.
“In these final stages of competitions there’s always those type of moments,” said Ronaldo.
“We were just playing around, I have a great relationship with him. I was asking him, because his plane was late, I asked him if he came by boat.
“The same thing happened with Cancelo, he was a bit sad during training and I grabbed him by the neck and told him ‘Come on, you’ve got this’, that’s what I said. And then it became another controversy at your end.
“The whole atmosphere is excellent, it’s bulletproof and iron clad. The next player who comes here, you don’t have to ask about that, don’t talk about me, you don’t have to talk about Cristiano Ronaldo… help them out, ask them about the World Cup.”
Portugal open their Group H campaign against Ghana on Thursday before facing Uruguay and South Korea.
After missing a friendly with a stomach bug last week, Ronaldo says he is in perfect shape to play.
“I feel great, I have recovered my best shape, we’ve had good training sessions, the team and myself, I’m ready to start the World Cup in the best possible way,” Ronaldo added.
World Cup chiefs on Friday banned beer sales around stadiums in a stunning U-turn just two days before kickoff as Cristiano Ronaldo prepared to jet in to Qatar.
Alcohol is largely prohibited in the Islamic nation but the organisers sparked anger from fans with their dramatic decision.
Football’s world governing body FIFA said beer would not be sold to fans around any of the eight World Cup stadiums following discussions with the hosts.
“A decision has been made to focus the sale of alcoholic beverages on the FIFA Fan Festival, other fan destinations and licensed venues, removing sales points of beer from Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium perimeters,” FIFA said in a statement.
Dozens of Budweiser beer tents had already been set up at grounds ahead of the first game on Sunday between Qatar and Ecuador.
The host nation has predicted that more than one million fans will visit the country for the 29-day tournament and FIFA has had a longstanding sponsorship deal with Budweiser, which is owned by drinks giant AB InBev.
Beer will remain available in VIP suites in stadiums, in some fan zones and in some hotel and restaurant bars.
The Football Supporters’ Association, which represents fans from England and Wales, criticised the move, saying it was symptomatic of a “total lack of communication” with supporters from the organisers.
“If they can change their minds on this at a moment’s notice, with no explanation, supporters will have understandable concerns about whether they will fulfil other promises relating to accommodation, transport or cultural issues,” it said in a statement.
– Ronaldo arrives –
Ronaldo is set to become the latest global superstar to land in Qatar after his explosive tirade against his club Manchester United.
The Portugal forward, who has dominated global football for the past 15 years alongside Argentina’s Lionel Messi, will be playing in his fifth and likely final World Cup.
The 37-year-old, who has a world-record 117 international goals, is aiming to become the first man to score in five World Cups.
But his arrival in Doha will be overshadowed by an astonishing outburst against United, in which he said he felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag.
The forward, who has more than 800 goals for club and country, appears headed for the Old Trafford exit door but will be desperate to show potential suitors he can still deliver on the biggest stage.
Earlier this week he pledged “total and absolute focus on the work of the national team” along with a photo of himself and some of his international team-mates on social media.
Manchester United issued a fresh statement on Friday, saying the club had “initiated appropriate steps in response to Cristiano Ronaldo’s recent media interview”.
“We will not be making further comment until this process reaches its conclusion,” the club added.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner missed Portugal’s 4-0 demolition of Nigeria in a friendly on Thursday with illness but will hope to be fit for their opening match against Ghana in Qatar on November 24.
The Euro 2016 champions will also face Uruguay and South Korea in Qatar.
Messi, 35, is also likely featuring at his final World Cup, as the curtain starts to come down on an era of astonishing dominance from the two players.
Belgium, second in the world rankings, are also due to arrive in Doha late on Friday, with five-time champions Brazil expected on Saturday.
Defending champions France are sweating on the fitness of forward Karim Benzema and defender Raphael Varane ahead of their opening game on Tuesday.
Real Madrid’s Benzema has been struggling with a thigh problem while Manchester United defender Varane is recovering from a leg injury.
“Karim and Raphael are doing really well,” teammate Adrien Rabiot said on Friday. “They trained apart because that was the protocol that was in place for them.
“They are good and are really keen to play, but I don’t know if they will be involved in the first match.”
Qatar 2022 World Cup hopefuls Portugal turned on the style against the Super Eagles on Thursday in an international friendly, scoring a 4-0 victory against the three-time African champions.
A brace from Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes was followed by late goals from Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario.
The Super Eagles should have reduced the deficit to 2-0 when they were handed a penalty in the 81st minute. However, Nottingham Forest’s Emmanuel Denis was denied by an impressive Rui Patrício and the post.
Benfica forward and Portugal debutant Goncalo Ramos tapped home from Raphael Guerreiro’s unselfish cut-back for the third a minute later.
Joao Mario tucked away the fourth after a brilliant move, involving Felix again and a silky touch from Ramos, a perfect finale for an impressive, dynamic attacking display to answer criticism labelling Santos’s football negative.
It was also a way of quietening the noise around Ronaldo, although that is rarely possible for long, as the veteran forward recovers and readies himself to play at his fifth World Cup.
Talisman Cristiano Ronaldo was absent through illness. Fernando Santos’s Portugal warmed up for the World Cup with victory in Lisbon, although preparations for the match were overshadowed by an explosive interview given by Ronaldo earlier in the week.
The 37-year-old striker lashed out at his club Manchester United, where he has fallen out of favour under new coach Erik ten Hag, before suffering gastroenteritis.
Ronaldo, his country’s record appearance maker and the men’s international all-time top goalscorer with 191 strikes, is set to return for Portugal’s World Cup opener against Ghana on November 24, although the team thrilled supporters without him before they depart for Qatar.
Klopp, who said Jota would not need an operation, did not put an exact timescale on his return but is expecting the 25-year-old to be sidelined for months.
“After such a good night at Anfield mine ended in the worst way! In the last minute, one of my dreams collapsed,” Jota posted on Twitter.
“I will be one more supporting from the outside, club, and country, and fighting to be back as soon as possible.”
Jota’s absence adds to Liverpool’s injury woes, with Luis Diaz also ruled out until after the World Cup in Qatar, which starts next month.
Joel Matip will also miss the visit of West Ham, but Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ibrahima Konate could be fit to return to the starting line-up.
Klopp was sent off late on in an emotional encounter with City for taking his protests towards the referee’s assistant too far.
The German coach has so far not received a touchline ban from the Football Association and expects to take his place on the touchline on Wednesday.
“I think I will be there tomorrow because nothing happened yet,” he said. “I don’t think something will happen tomorrow a few hours before the game.
“I still think I should have dealt differently with the situation which I usually do. The whole game led to that a little bit. It was a very, very intense game with a lot of decisions we didn’t understand on both sides.
“This for me was like the one drop that made the bucket overflow. I’m not happy with my reaction but that’s the way it was and everybody saw it.”
Spain and Portugal were sweltering in their second heatwave in a month on Monday, with scorching temperatures also expected in France and Britain in the coming days.
People in Spain baked with the temperature in the central town of Candeleda hitting a stifling 43.3 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit) shortly after 6 pm (1600 GMT), according to Spain’s meteorological agency AEMET.
The mercury meanwhile hit 42.4C in the southern city of Seville.
The southwestern cities of Badajoz and Merida also saw temperatures of 42C.
AEMET forecast 46C in Badajoz on Thursday and Friday with Seville predicted to swelter in 45C on Wednesday and Thursday.
President Muhammadu Buhari has returned to Nigeria after spending four days in Portugal on a state visit. He left Nigeria for Portugal on Tuesday and returned to Abuja on Saturday.
The President had visited Portugal based on the invitation of President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal.
During the trip, President Buhari attended the 2022 United Nations (UN) ocean conference, met with Carlos Moedas, mayor of Lisbon, and was also presented with the ‘key of the city of Lisbon’. Also, during the trip, Nigeria and Portugal signed several memoranda of understanding, including political consultations, diplomatic training, cooperation in the field of culture, and women and girls development.
The MoUs signed touched on political consultations, research and exchange of information and documentation, cooperation in the field of culture and cooperation in the field of women and girls development, empowerment and gender affairs, youths as well as sports.
The agreements, some of which were finalised between the two countries’ investment promotion agencies and chambers of commerce were signed on Nigeria’s behalf by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Sports Minister, Sunday Dare.
President Buhari is optimistic that his state visit will further strengthen the goodwill and collaboration between both countries.
Nigeria and Portugal have expressed determination to take relations to a whole new level with concrete deliverables, emphasizing the need for stronger ties 46 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the indication on Thursday in Lisbon, at a joint press conference with President Marcela Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal.
The Nigerian leader told the press after a one-on-one meeting with his Portuguese counterpart and an enlarged meeting between delegations that in spite of the existing cordial relations between the two countries, there was a need for greater collaboration.
President Buhari, therefore, declared that as many as ten agreements and Memoranda of Understanding are being prepared for signing during his State visit to the European country.
‘‘The Establishment of an Atlantic Research Centre; Air travel; Political Consultations; Diplomatic Training; Cultural Cooperation; Investment Promotion; Chambers of Commerce Cooperation; Women and Child Development; Youth and Sports Development and Digital Economy Cooperation.
‘‘The world is at a crossroads. The decisions we take as leaders could make or break the world as we know it.
‘‘We face existential challenges with climate change, food insecurity, conflict, health, and energy among others.
‘‘We look to Portugal as an influential country and partner to play an important role in helping to pull the world back from the brink.’’
President Buhari thanked the Portuguese leader for the role his government played during his tenure as President of the European Union, in securing EU and International Monetary Union financial support for Africa.
Highlighting that this year marks the 46th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Nigerian leader said:
‘‘We are delighted that we can count Portugal as a valued and reliable friend and partner.
‘‘We share the same democratic values and look to increase and broaden cooperation in various fields at the bilateral and multilateral levels.’’
The president added that there will be a Nigeria-Portugal Business and Investment Forum with the participation of over 80 representatives from Nigerian public and private sector companies, agencies and organizations.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Lisbon called for an increase in the volume of trade with Portugal as well as diversification to non-oil products.
The President spoke at an Economic Seminar between Nigeria and Portugal businesses during a State Visit to Portugal.
He noted that the two countries are in dire need of new investment opportunities following the devastation on global economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and, in recent times, the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict.
‘‘The relationship between modern Nigeria and Portugal started over 40 years ago with strong collaborations on the diplomatic and defence fronts.
‘‘I was very excited to learn of the increased level of enthusiasm Portuguese businesses have shown towards Nigeria.
‘‘In the past 25 years, trade between Nigeria and Portugal has more than doubled to over $1 billion by 2020 just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘‘This has been mostly in the oil and gas sector. Although this is great progress, I strongly believe we can and should do a lot more,’’ he said.
Assuring the Portuguese government of Nigeria’s support to Portuguese companies wishing to invest in the country, the President said:
‘‘The Portuguese were the first European voyagers on record to visit the shores of Nigeria in the late fifteenth century. And just like how African culture is influential in modern Portugal, the Portuguese culture is also felt in today’s Nigeria.’’
He announced that recently, the Government of Nigeria awarded a contract to Mota-Engil, a Portuguese company, to construct a railway line that connects Kano in Northern Nigeria to Maradi in Southern Niger Republic.
He added this partnership will surely open doors for more Portuguese companies to come to Nigeria, as the largest and most populous economy in Africa.
‘‘Just two months ago, Portugal opened its first North Africa Trade Chamber. This will complement the Chamber in South Africa.
‘‘I am confident after your interactions today on the tremendous potential in Nigeria, we will soon be hearing an announcement on the opening of the Nigeria Portugal Trade Chamber.’’
Recounting that in 2021, the African Export-Import Bank and Portugal’s National Association of Young Entrepreneurs announced a 3-year partnership to promote Africa’s fashion apparel and textile manufacturing industry, the Nigerian leader said:
‘‘I strongly believe this will benefit Nigeria’s vibrant fashion industry.’’
President Buhari also used the occasion to apprise prospective investors of the many fiscal, trade and monetary incentives that support foreign investments.
‘‘The Nigerian Government officials in this room are on standby to provide all the necessary information you need.
‘‘I have already directed the establishment of a dedicated Portugal working group headed by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to address any special concerns you may have above and beyond the existing policies in place.
‘‘I want to assure you that we will take these requests seriously and our response will be swift.’’
On his expectations for the forum, the President expressed confidence that it was an appropriate platform to establish and strengthen business relationships, share valuable experience, and collaborate for both countries’ mutual benefit.
‘‘Nigeria and Portugal share long historical ties. The relationship between our two countries brought with it trade partnerships, an area that we wish to build upon today,’’ he said.
President Buhari thanked President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of Portugal, who was present at the Seminar, for his contribution, interest and trust in forging formidable economic cooperation between Nigeria and Portugal.
‘‘As I mentioned earlier our two countries have a long, shared history and we now have the power to ensure the next 500 years is built on mutual prosperity, sustainability and greatness,’’ he said.
In his response, the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa told President Buhari that Portugal can help Nigeria diversify the economy.
“Because we are a very small country, we have huge experience. We have experience in water supply, technology, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, tourism, Agriculture, Science, Health care, Trade, the sea and we want to cooperate with you. We have experienced companies, experienced hands. We have a unique knowledge of Africa,” he said.
On the visit, the Portuguese President said, “Your visit is a new beginning, A new beginning of every sector. We don’t want 30 or 100 companies, we want thousands of companies in Nigeria, we want thousands of Portuguese in Nigeria and that will be your legacy, my legacy, the legacy of this state visit. I’ll be going to Nigeria later on and together we shall see with our own eyes what the outcome of this visit is. This is not a visit of words but a visit of facts and achievements. We will achieve.”