Cristiano Ronaldo’s World Cup record: Manchester United star could miss out on Qatar 2022 as Portugal face key play-off clash with Turkey

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Portugal face Turkey in a World Cup play-off semi-final on Thursday and it could decide Cristiano Ronaldo’s Qatar 2022 fate.

The Euro 2016 champions must beat Turkey to keep their World Cup dreams alive before potentially facing either Italy or North Macedonia in the play-off final.

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Ronaldo might have played his last World Cup if Portugal can’t make it through

A Selecao finished second in Group A behind Serbia, which was rather unexpected.

However, Ronaldo’s side lost 2-1 at home to the Serbs and that cost Portugal an automatic place in the 2022 World Cup.

It was their only loss of the group stage but it means that Portugal must play two matches to get themselves to a sixth consecutive World Cup.

Given that Portugal have established themselves as one of football’s super-powers in the last 20 years or so, it would be a huge failure if they were to miss out.

However, on paper, you would say that it is all set up for Italy to play Portugal for a place in the World Cup.

Therefore, it is possible that at 37, Ronaldo may have played his last World Cup game.

With that in mind, let us look at the great man’s record in the showpiece tournament…


Ronaldo might have to be the hero for his country once more

Getty

Ronaldo might have to be the hero for his country once more

Ronaldo’s World Cup record

The Manchester United forward has played in four World Cups for his country and he has scored seven goals in FIFA’s premier competition.

His first came in a 2-0 win over Iran in the 2006 World Cup in Germany and he followed that up in 2010 with a goal in the 7-0 demolition of North Korea.

He also scored a late winner against Ghana during the 2014 World Cup.

However, it was the 2018 competition in which he truly shone for Portugal.

A Selecao played their neighbours Spain in Group B and Ronaldo stole the show with a sublime hat-trick.

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First, he won a penalty in the opening five minutes that he dispatched past David de Gea. He added to the Spaniard’s problems just before the half-time whistle as he blasted a shot through the United goalkeeper.

And he saved the best until last as he curled a delightful free-kick over the wall into the net to salvage a point for his country late on.

This was a special performance from Ronaldo and he added another strike in a 1-0 win over Morocco to end the tournament with four goals.

However, he might not get the chance to add to his tally or to beat Eusebio’s record of nine World Cup goals.

Top World Cup goalscorers

1 Miroslav Klose – Germany 16

2 Ronaldo – Brazil – 15

3 Gerd Muller – West Germany 14

4 Just Fontaine – France 13

5 Pele – Brazil 12

6 Sandor Kocsis – Hungary 11

6 Jurgen Klinsmann – West Germany/Germany 11

8 – Helmut Rahn – West Germany 10

8 Gary Lineker – Germany 10

8 Gabriel Batistua – Argentina 10

8 Thomas Muller – Germany 10

8 Teofilo Cubillas – Peru 10

8 Grzegorz Lato – Hungary 10

Portugal v Turkey: Date and how to watch

This World Cup play-off semi-final will take place on Thursday, March 24.

The Estadio de Dragao is the venue, with kick-off scheduled for 7:45pm UK time.

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Portugal have lost two of their last seven games, so Turkey might well fancy their chances of causing an upset.

The match will be broadcast on Sky Sports Premier League with coverage starting at 7:40pm.

Sky Sports customers can live stream this via the app using their mobile, tablet or computer devices.

If not, you can purchase a Sky Sports Day Pass from NowTV for £9.99.

Updates will also be live on talkSPORT throughout the afternoon while talkSPORT.com will be running a live blog for all the action.

Portugal will be without Pepe for their game against Turkey

AFP

Portugal will be without Pepe for their game against Turkey

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