- Sputnik International, 1920, 20.11.2022
2022 FIFA World Cup
The first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and the Arab world is taking place in Doha, Qatar from November 20 to December 18 and 32 national teams are competing in eight groups. It is expected that about 5 billion people will watch this year's tournament.

With Questions Over Portugal Future, World Cup Curse Awaits Cristiano Ronaldo

© Sputnik / Alexey Filippov / Go to the mediabankCristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2022
Cristiano Ronaldo is the top scorer in international football with 118 goals in 194 appearances, including eight in five different stagings of the FIFA World Cups.
As questions arise over his place in Portugal's starting XI, a World Cup curse awaits Cristiano Ronaldo in his team's Round of 16 battle against Switzerland on Tuesday.
Surprisingly, Ronaldo has scored all his previous eight World Cup goals in group matches and has yet to extend his prowess to a knock-out fixture.
In the game against Switzerland tonight, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner may finally break the curse that has haunted him for the past two decades of his footballing career.
Ronaldo made his World Cup debut for Portugal in 2006, but even after featuring in five different stagings of the sport's biggest competition, he hasn't succeeded in scoring a goal outside his country's group appearances.
CR7's best outing in a World Cup came four years ago in Russia when the 37-year-old talismanic forward produced four goals, including a stunning hat-trick against Spain in the prestigious tournament.

However, many football pundits, including England great Gary Lineker have claimed that he hasn't performed well in the World Cup in Qatar which is going on now.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo smiles after scoring the opening goal during the international friendly soccer match between Portugal and Qatar at the Algarve stadium outside Faro, Portugal, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.11.2022
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Even a recent poll conducted by Portuguese newspaper A Bola in Ronaldo's homeland revealed that at least 70 percent of readers want him dropped from Portugal's starting line-up.
The latest reports from the Portugal camp suggest that Ronaldo's spot in the XI is under threat and he could face the axe from the side for their clash against Switzerland. This comes after the former Manchester United and Real Madrid attacker was seen sulking after being subbed off by coach Fernando Santos in Portugal's last match against South Korea.
Portugal's skipper has scored only one goal in this World Cup and has been a poor shadow of his usual self on most occasions. That's why it will be interesting to see whether he makes the cut in Portugal's XI for the Switzerland game because if he doesn't, it could just be the end of his international career.
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