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World Cup 2022: Ronaldo's World Cup farewell against Morocco

2022-12-10T18:27:41.153Z


Cristiano Ronaldo competed one last time to crown his career with the world title. In doing so, he set a world record – and was in tears after the final whistle while Morocco's defensive artists triumphed.


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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo has to give up his dream of winning the World Cup

Photo: CARL RECINE / REUTERS

No heroic epic:

he had done so well after all.

In added time against Morocco, Portugal were chasing from behind – and Cristiano Ronaldo on Yassine Bounou's goal.

The timing of the run, the taking of the ball, the conclusion: you couldn't blame the substitute superstar for much.

But Ronaldo's last shot at a World Cup ended up being a blank, the angle was too sharp, and Bounou was in too good shape.

Portugal remained goalless and when referee Facundo Tello ended the game eight minutes overtime, tears welled up in Ronaldo's eyes.

Anyone who claims to go down in history as the best in his sport will be denied the world title forever.

The result:

Morocco beat Portugal 1-0 (1-0), making it the first time an African country has reached the semi-finals of a World Cup.

Read the match report here.

The greatest possible outsider:

At the narrowest point of the Strait of Gibraltar, the distance between Morocco and the Iberian Peninsula is only 14 kilometers.

In terms of sport, however, the big European football nations and the North Africans have been worlds apart.

But the Moroccan team had already begun to push the boundaries of what was possible in the round of 16 against Spain.

Through performance, not words.

"They want to win the title, just like Spain did," said coach Walid Regragui ahead of the quarter-finals against Portugal and the chance to make World Cup history.

»We are the underdog.«

Confusing:

In fact, after the kick-off it was hardly possible to tell who was the favorite and who was the surprise team – and not just because Morocco wore the same national colors in their red and green jerseys that are otherwise known from Portugal.

As against Spain, Regragui's side showed excellent organization, kept Portugal away from their own penalty area and scored goals of their own.

Youssef En-Nesyri headed one of them past Portugal goalkeeper Diogo Costa to take the lead (42nd minute), vaguely reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo's best moments.

Successfully patched up:

Yahya Attiat-Allah, a full-back at Wydad AC in Casablanca and deputizing for the injured Bayern professional Nouassir Mazraoui, contributed the cross to take the lead.

He was missing in the Moroccan defense chain after the successful battle against Spain, as was Nayef Aguerd.

With their top squad, Morocco have conceded just one goal in the tournament so far, an own goal against Canada.

Regragui's Morocco didn't notice for a second that the understudy played here in part.

Magic gone:

Portugal, on the other hand, had problems.

Big problem.

Despite a number of creative players on the pitch, the team that knocked Switzerland out of the tournament 6-1 on Tuesday seemed strangely sluggish.

Again and again João Félix tried to get to the end with individual actions, Bruno Fernandes volleyed from an acute angle on the crossbar (45.+1).

Shooting star Gonçalo Ramos?

Logged out.

Perhaps his last record:

Portugal coach Fernando Santos had to act.

And he acted just five minutes after the break.

Superstar Ronaldo came into play for his 196th international appearance, according to the Fifa count a set world record.

But the desired power play failed, half-chances, weak finishes and unclean last passes ensured that Morocco ultimately progressed confidently.

Carried on hands:

The Portuguese mourning after the final whistle was drowned out by the Al Thuma Stadium packed to the brim with Moroccan fans, who celebrated the greatest success of an Arab national football team with appropriate exuberance.

The focus of the celebrations was the man about whom Achraf Hakimi recently said he had "made us a family": Walid Regragui.

The successor to Vahid Halilhodžić, who fell out with superstar Hakim Ziyech, has only been in office for a few months.

He has already achieved more than any African national coach before him.

Stupid run:

On Wednesday (8 p.m.) Morocco has another chance to write football history.

However, substitute striker Walid Cheddira will be absent from the semifinals: The substitute striker managed the feat of seeing two yellow cards within two minutes in added time.

After being sent off, Cheddira will hope more than ever that his colleagues will give him the chance to also take part in the final.

Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2022-12-10

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