Ronaldo relishes 'beautiful moment' with new World Cup record
Cristiano Ronaldo said he was living a "beautiful moment" after becoming the first player to score in five men's World Cups as he helped Portugal to a 3-2 victory over Ghana on Thursday (November 24) at the start of their campaign in Qatar.
"It's a beautiful moment in my fifth World Cup," Ronaldo told reporters. "We won. We got off on the right foot. It's a very important win. We know in these competitions the first match is fundamental.
"It's another record too," he said. "That makes me very proud. I am very happy for the team to have put on an excellent performance. It was difficult but we deserved to win."
Asked about his acrimonious departure from Manchester United this week, Ronaldo said the only thing that counted was Portugal's win. "All the rest, it doesn't matter," he added.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos hailed his 37 year-old captain who won a second-half penalty and converted it himself to open the scoring against Ghana.
"I think Cristiano is a phenomenon, a legend," Santos told reporters. "In 50 years time, we will still be talking about him."
Ronaldo was substituted in the 88th minute to a rousing reception around Stadium 974 in Doha at the start of what is likely to be his last World Cup.
Santos rebuffed suggestions by his Ghanaian opposite number, Otto Addo, that the penalty decision was incorrect - given for a shove by defender, Mohammed Salisu - and should have been reviewed by U.S. referee, Ismail Elfath, via the VAR system.
"If the VAR tells the referee that he has to have a look, he will have a look," he said. "If the VAR didn’t call over the referee it's because they watched the images and there was nothing to see."
Portugal now sit top of Group H and face Uruguay next who drew 0-0 with South Korea earlier on Thursday.