Cristiano Ronaldo Fernando Santos Football Manchester Qatar Portugal city Doha city Santos Ghana Cristiano Ronaldo Fernando Santos Football Manchester Qatar Portugal city Doha city Santos Ghana

Analysis:Amidst the circus, Ronaldo proves ringmaster yet again

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DOHA : Booted out by his beloved Manchester United, suspended by the Football Association and deemed over the hill by many, Cristiano Ronaldo answered everything in the best possible fashion with another record-breaking display on Thursday.Just another week then in the glittering career of the 37-year-old Portugal talisman who attracts plaudits and criticism like no other player in the history of the game.Two days after Manchester United abruptly ended his second stint at Old Trafford following his scathing criticism of the club, Ronaldo took out his frustration on Ghana as Portugal opened their World Cup campaign with a nervy 3-2 victory.There had been talk that circus surrounding the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was distracting Fernando Santos's squad.After all, it is hardly ideal when your captain turns up in Qatar in the middle of a very public divorce with his club who he accused of betrayal.Come game time on Thursday in Doha's 974 Stadium partly constructed with old shipping containers, Ronaldo showed that at 37 he retains the magical knack of delivering when it matters.Ronaldo went into the match already holding the world record for international goals and he took his total to 118 in the 65th minute with a penalty that made him the first player ever to score in five editions of the men's World Cup.The way his team mates celebrated with him as he tucked away Portugal's opener spoke volumes for their loyalty to their captain, every player on the pitch and the substitutes burying the forward under a pile of bodies.Portugal's fans behind the goal sang his name and gave him another huge ovation when he was substituted in the 88th minute.It is easy to talk about Ronaldo in terms of statistics alone, with so many

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