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CRISTIANO RONALDO became the first player to score at FIVE World Cups and then declared his Manchester United debacle to be over.

The Portuguese icon netted a second-half penalty to help his nation win 3-2 against Ghana.

2Cristiano Ronaldo netted from the spot in Portugal's thrilling win over GhanaCredit: Getty 2Ronaldo was awarded the Player of the Match trophy for his performanceCredit: Getty

It put him onto eight World Cup goals - one more than legendary rival Lionel Messi.

This win was also Ronaldo’s first game since his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan rocked the football world and saw his United contract terminated.

Speaking in a press conference that lasted 2mins12secs and answering just one question, the 37-year-old said: “This was a beautiful moment - my fifth World Cup.

“We won, we started with a good foot. A very important win.

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“We know the first match is crucial. But also a world record. The first player to score in five World Cups. That makes me proud.

“The most important step is we won. It was a week that finished this chapter (with United).

“This chapter is closed. We wanted to start with a good foot. We won. I could help my team.

“All the rest does not matter.”

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Ronaldo’s first World Cup came 18 years ago in Germany - which included the famous winker incident with Wayne Rooney - and he was welling up during the national anthem.

He won a soft penalty in the 65th minute, going down under a challenge from Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu. Ronaldo converted it for his 118th goal for his country.

Ghana hit back through ex-Swansea man Andre Ayew, before Bruno Fernandes teed up Joao Felix and Rafael Leao to make it 3-1.

Still the Ghanaians came back through sub Osman Bukari - who performed Ronaldo’s iconic Siuu celebration - but Portugal held on.

Asked if free agent Ronaldo can still play at the top level, team-mate Bernardo Silva, of Manchester City, replied: “Yes I think so. It depends on what he wants. I don’t know what he wants for his life. He has to speak with his family and decide for himself, right?

“We are happy to know that we can still count on him – not just the goal but he worked a lot for the team. We are happy with the three points.”

Portugal boss Fernando Santos added: “He is one of the best players ever. I think Cristiano is a phenomenon and a legend like many others who have come before him.

“In 50 years time we’ll still be talking about him.”

Ghana boss Otto Addo was left fuming with the referee for giving the spotkick.

He said: “If somebody scores a goal, congratulations, but this was really a gift.

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“I think it was the wrong decision. I think we played the ball. I don’t know why VAR didn’t come up. There’s no explanation for me. Then it’s difficult for us.

“If I look at that scene, it’s incredible. We were playing the ball. It was actually a foul against us.”

  • Football
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Kyle Walker vs Kylian Mbappe: The key battle that’ll decide England’s World Cup clash with France… and who is fastest?

ENGLAND and France will meet in a blockbuster World Cup quarter-final on Saturday evening.

The Three Lions breezed past Senegal 3-0 on Sunday, hours after Didier Deschamps' world champions cruised to a 3-1 victory over Poland.

3Kyle Walker will be looking to keep Kylian Mbappe quiet on SaturdayCredit: Getty 3Mbappe has already scored five goals at the 2022 World CupCredit: Getty 3Walker and Mbappe have come up against one another four times in the pastCredit: Getty

Now football fans across the globe are looking ahead to the potential tactical battles that will decide the match this weekend.

Perhaps the most talked about duel is the one between French talisman Kylian Mbappe and English right-back Kyle Walker.

Mbappe, 23, has already scored five goals in Qatar - two more than any other player - and his blistering pace is frightening oppositions up and down the land.

His brace against Poland sent shudders down the spines of every England supporter - despite Gareth Southgate's men keeping three clean sheets since the 6-2 win over Iran.

But Manchester City man Walker, 32, may well be the best-placed defender in world football to deal with the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

The former Tottenham man hit a top speed of 23.48mph during the 2019/20 Premier League season - the fastest in the competition's history.

According to SpeedSDB, that is less than 0.1mph slower than Mbappe's top speed - which is a touch more than 23.5mph.

What's more, Walker has been dribbled past just THREE times in his last 24 England appearances - which works out as once every 686 minutes.

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However, it is safe to say Mbappe will be his toughest England test to date.

The 2018 World Cup winner has completed 13 dribbles in Qatar - with only Germany's Jamal Musiala managing more (19).


And Mbappe has produced a successful dribble in 21 of the last 22 games for his country.

Walker and Mbappe have faced each other four times in the past - with two wins each.

They first got to know one another in a friendly between France and England in 2017 - which ended with Deschamps' men claiming a 3-2 victory.

Walker then had to wait four years to face Mbappe once more, before he got the better of him in April 2021 as Man City beat PSG 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Mbappe played no part in the second leg, with their third meeting then coming in September last year as PSG earned a 2-0 win.

Two months later they battled in the Champions League yet again.

And City secured a 2-1 win - although Mbappe did manage to bag his first goal against Walker.

The England international is a seasoned operator at the highest level.

He has 72 caps to his name and has helped England keep clean sheets in both games he has started in Qatar against Wales and Senegal.

But Mbappe's terrifying record of 33 goals in 63 games for France - and nine in 11 World Cup matches - makes him an an intimidating proposition.

Former England striker Gary Lineker even suggested resting Walker ahead of the win over Senegal in order to preserve him for a battle with Mbappe.

He said: "Kyle Walker should not be in England's team to play Senegal."

The World Cup Golden Boot winner then added: "England cannot afford for Walker to get injured because he's probably just about the only full-back on the planet that can compete with Kylian Mbappe, and that is the French team.

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"How would you take the risk, why would you take the risk of him getting injured?"

Fortunately for England, Walker did not get injured and is now set for an almighty tussle with Mbappe on Saturday.

  • Football
  • World Cup 2022
  • England
  • France
  • Kyle Walker
  • Kylian Mbappe
  • France

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