The last image that will remain of Cristiano Ronaldo on a World Cup pitch is a dejected player, in tears, in front of the eyes of his wife Georgina Rodriguez, collapsed in the stands. Once again lined up on the substitute bench by his coach Fernando Santos when he faced Morocco in the most prestigious of football competitions, the Portuguese star was relegated to a place unworthy of his status. His entry in the 51st minute was not enough. While Portugal were already trailing Morocco, Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates failed to turn the game around. Result: a surprise elimination of Portugal in the quarter-finals (1-0) and a very certain international retirement which will leave a bitter taste in the man who is considered by many to be the best player in the world.
It must be said that Cristiano Ronaldo did not arrive in Qatar in the best mood. In conflict with his club Manchester United, with whom he decided to break his contract in the middle of November, he began his ultimate international adventure in the shoes of the first player in history to participate in a World Cup without being affiliated with any club. A new line on Cristiano Ronaldo’s list, even if that one would have been fine.
Cristiano Ronaldo: the painful descent into hell
His physical appearance even shocked some fans. If the former captain of Portugal will say that he was ultra-prepared physically for what was to be his jubilee with the Portuguese selection, it is especially likely that the infernal year he lived will affect his appearance. Because Cristiano Ronaldo has had several difficult periods in recent months. Whether sporting or off the lawn, at the heart of his family life.
It hurts me to see Ronaldo like this man pic.twitter.com/MbRGnTcRO2
— WolfRMFC (@WolfRMFC) December 10, 2022
On April 18, 2022, Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina Rodriguez had to face the most difficult test of their lives: the death of a child. The couple were expecting twins but one of them was stillborn when the baby girl survived. A traumatic experience and a mourning that the player has been carrying with him since that time. Worse, his club, Manchester United, which he has since left, would not have supported him during this terrible ordeal. “If they tried to force me out? Yes. Not just the manager but people at the club. I felt betrayed. Maybe I shouldn’t say that but I don’t care, people need to hear the truth. Yes I feel betrayed and I feel like some people don’t want me here,” the star told Talk TV reporter Piers Morgan in November.
At the end of this difficult year, hell continued in Qatar. While he started the first three games, during the group stage, and added one more goal to his incredible record in the first game, his coach no longer trusted him as soon as the competition got tougher. He hasn’t played a single minute in the round of 16, and is only halfway through losing to Morocco in the quarter-finals. What to end in tears, totally inconsolable. Georgina Rodriguez can attest to this…
Cristiano Ronaldo – World Cup 2022 © Zuma Press