Portugal took a crucial 2-0 win against Uruguay on Monday night to seal their place in the World Cup last 16, with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes doing the job in Qatar.
At least, that's what Ronaldo and co. thought when Portugal's opener went in. What looked like a glancing header from Ronaldo initially saw him awarded the goal, after a delightful cross from his ex-Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes.
However, moments later, the decision was overturned, and the goal was awarded to Fernandes, with FIFA adjudging Ronaldo had not actually touched the ball. Not only was FIFA's decision made official, but adidas even released data from the sensors within the match ball, which confirmed that Fernandes' was the last touch before the ball hit the net.
🇵🇹 1-0 🇺🇾
GOAL - PORTUGAL
Was it Cristiano Ronaldo? Or was it Bruno Fernandes? Anyway Portugal find themselves a goal to the good.
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— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 28, 2022
Ronaldo still appeared adamant that the goal was his at the final whistle, but the data from adidas was irrefutable.
Appearing on ITV's coverage of the World Cup on Tuesday afternoon, 2010 finalist Nigel de Jong joked that Ronaldo was an "unbelievable actor" for trying to claim the goal.
Nigel de Jong dismisses Ronaldo claims to Fernandes goal
After two games at the World Cup, the official record books state that Bruno Fernandes has two goals, and Cristiano Ronaldo has one. "CR7" appears to disagree with that, despite the scientific evidence presented by adidas.
The ITV football panel discussed Portugal's opener against Uruguay during their Tuesday coverage of the World Cup.
Joe Cole and Nigel de Jong were part of the panel, and discussed the contentious strike. Cole noted that Ronaldo appeared confident in his celebrations that he had touched the ball, before 2010 World Cup finalist de Jong shut down the Englishman:
Cole: I've not seen one angle that shows me that he headed the ball. But his reaction when it went in, I thought it suggested that he got a nick. Either that, or he's an unbelievable actor as well as being an unbelievable footballer.
de Jong: He isan unbelievable actor! You know how he is! The fact that he didn't do his iconic celebrations afterwards says something that he was in doubt. He was running towards Fernandes, looking at Fernandes to see if he was celebrating for himself. So he was like "are you celebrating? Oh, you're not celebrating, well I'll celebrate for you!" Of course, he's a striker, he's going to claim it, that's for sure - but from all the angles you've seen, it's spot on. You didn't see one angle which suggested that he touched the ball.
We've no doubt that Ronaldo will want to add another goal to his World Cup tally, especially after the brilliance seen from Lionel Messi so far this tournament.
The most important thing from a Portuguese perspective, however, is that they have qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup, and that their other big hitters like Bruno Fernandes and Rafael Leao seem to be in scorching hot form.