World Cup 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo no longer the local hero

He failed to shine for Portugal, disrespected the team and is now out for two months injured

Rio de janeiro

Cristiano Ronaldo says his injured knee “ended exactly like it began” and it is expected to now keep him out for at least two months, as recriminations have begun over Portugal’s first-round World Cup elimination.

Much of the attention has centred on the Real Madrid star and his failure to reproduce the relentless form that won him the 2013 Ballon d’Or. Ronaldo’s goal in the 2-1 win over Ghana took his overall tally in the World Cup to just three.

That has attracted all the more focus because this was seen as something of a last chance for him to finally excel at the tournament in while in his prime, given that he will be 33 by the time Russia 2018 arrives. In mitigation, however, Ronaldo has played through a knee-tendonitis problem.

That was also said to be a factor in his diminished performances leading up to Real Madrid’s victorious Champions League final in Lisbon, prompting recurrent storylines prior to Brazil that his World Cup was  either under threat or he was supposedly defying medical advice to play. Ronaldo is understood to hugely proud of his work with Portugal, and was desperate to deliver in this tournament, despite speculation about his frustration with the team.

However, after the 2-1 victory over Ghana, which eliminated Portugal on goal difference behind USA in Group G, Ronaldo was asked whether his knee had improved with treatment. “It ended exactly like it began,” he responded.


Ronaldo’s discomfort was evident throughout the World Cup, as was his frustration with the tournament. The 29-year-old was said to be somewhat embarrassed at being made man of the match against Ghana,  repeatedly pointing out the errors that were threaded through his performance.

Having left for Brazil with so much fanfare, Ronaldo’s return was much more muted. He arrived back in Lisbon on Friday with only a handful of fans there to greet him, and left the airport having picked up a taxi at a public rank. Ronaldo will now begin a recuperation plan while on holiday, but is not expected to return to  action for at least two months.

Ronaldo has not been spared criticism in Portugal. There has been speculation about his elevated status in the squad and his demanding nature, and a former Portuguese club coach has asked questions about the effect of all that.

Manuel Jose, who has worked at Sporting Lisbon and Benfica, said: “He is a fantastic player but every time he speaks he comes out with a blunder. He ended up saying that he never believed in the team. If he does not believe in the team, then he doesn’t believe in his team-mates.

“Portugal have been carrying the ‘world’s best’ like a diamond ring that we never had.”

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments