Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has been branded as a 'cheat' after winning a penalty against Ghana in his side's World Cup opener on Thursday.
With the match finely poised at 0-0 going into the 65th minute, Ronaldo was challenged inside the area by Ghana’s Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu.
Without hesitation, referee Ismail Elfath pointed to the spot. However, the replays showed that Salisu got a tiny touch on the ball.
Ronaldo, 37, stepped up and converted the penalty to set Portugal up nicely ahead of their 3-2 win over their Group H opponents.
With his goal against Ghana, Portugal star Ronaldo has become the first male player to score in five World Cups.
Speaking after the match, the former Manchester United player said: “It was a beautiful moment in my fifth World Cup. We won and we have started well.
“It was an extremely important victory. The first match is fundamental in these tournaments.
“Plus the record. Being the only player to score in five successive World Cups makes me very proud.
“I’m very happy with the excellent display of the team. It was a difficult victory, but a deserved one.”
Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton was not happy with Ronaldo, as he tweeted to his 298.8k Twitter followers: “VAR should have intervened and Ronaldo should have been booked. This is cheating.”
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Sutton slammed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner further by claiming that he is setting a bad example for young kids.
“The VAR officials are absolute bottle jobs. It is not good play from Ronaldo, it’s a terrible example for young kids everywhere around the world,” Sutton said.
“He’s a brilliant player but it was cheating. I thought the officials needed to be stronger, it’s embarrassing really how they missed it.”
The BBC pundit added: “I can’t believe there are people commenting saying it was a penalty, it wasn’t a penalty, it’s ridiculous, it’s cheating and it’s out of order. That was awful.”
After the match, Portugal manager Fernando Santos said: “I think if the VAR team had felt the referee should consult the VAR, they would have prompted him.
“I also think Joao Felix was fouled at a point and I expected the referee to check the VAR but he didn’t. So I don’t think there was a call the VAR would have been necessary for the referee.”
After their win against Ghana, Portugal will take on Uruguay on 28th November next before facing South Korea on 2nd December.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
- Cristiano Ronaldo baffles fans after storing item in shorts before eating it in Portugal win over Ghana
- Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo told of South Korea revenge mission ahead of World Cup clash
- Cristiano Ronaldo looked livid when Ghana player did his 'SIUU' celebration after scoring
- Ghana star Osman Bukari breaks silence after copying Cristiano Ronaldo's iconic 'si' celebration in Portugal win