Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday became the first male footballer in the history of World Cups to score in five different editions.
Ronaldo started for Portugal in the opening match of what will likely be his fifth and final World Cup campaign, against Ghana at Stadium 974 on Thursday. He won and scored a penalty in the second half to create the milestone.
In Fifa Women’s World Cup history, two players have achieved this feat – Brazilian legend Marta and Canada veteran Christine Sinclair.
Earlier in the tournament, Lionel Messi became the fifth male player to score in at least four different World Cup tournaments (2006, 2014, 2018, 2022) after Pelé, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo has come gone clear of that elite group with his effort against Ghana.
All-time men’s record international goalscorer Ronaldo lined up in his now usual centre-forward position for the Group H clash, two days after he parted ways with Manchester United by mutual consent on Tuesday.
Ronaldo also extended his own world record tally in men’s football of international goals to 118.
Ronaldo shrugged off a tumultuous week which saw him dramatically leave Manchester United to bury a second-half penalty to set Portugal on their way to victory.
Andre Ayew equalised for Ghana shortly afterwards but Portugal took a 3-1 lead with goals from Joao Felix and Rafael Leao. Osman Bukari scored a late consolation for Ghana to trigger a dramatic finish.
With AFP inputs
Diogo Costa; Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Danilo Pereira, Raphael Guerreiro; Otavio, Ruben Neves, Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix; Cristiano Ronaldo (capt)
Coach: Fernando Santos (POR)
Lawrence Ati Zigi; Alidu Seidu, Alexander Djiku, Daniel Amartey, Mohammed Salisu, Baba Rahman; Salis Abdul Samed, Thomas Partey, Mohammed Kudus; Andrew Ayew (capt), Inaki Williams
Coach: Otto Addo (GHA)
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA)