FIFA’s expert World Cup analysts have said Cristiano Ronaldo performed a stroke of “genius” to win the penalty for Portugal in their 3-2 win over Ghana at the 2022 World Cup.
Ronaldo became the first male footballer to score at five World Cups on Thursday.
The 37-year-old converted a controversial penalty after the referee adjudged that he was brought down by Ghana defender Mohammed Salisu.
Ghana coach, Otto Addo, claimed it was a “special gift” for Portugal after the match.
FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG) held a media briefing in Doha, in which they claimed this year’s World Cup is on track for a record number of awarded penalties.
“Maybe the strikers are getting smarter?
“If you look at the penalty that Ronaldo got, people can say what they want about this man, but the smartness and the ingenious thought to just be patient and wait for that split second to touch the ball first before you, and continue my leg so that your contact will hit my leg, that is total genius,” former Colombia goalkeeper and TSG panel member, Faryd Mondragon, said.
A total of nine penalties have been awarded in the first 16 games.
At this rate, the World Cup is on track for a record 36 in the entire 64-game tournament.