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Ronaldo 'not meant to win World Cup' - Okocha after Morocco beat Portugal

11:32 PM MYT 11/12/2022
Cristiano Ronaldo and Austin Jay-Jay Okocha.
Austin 'Jay-Jay' Okocha believes Cristiano Ronaldo did his best for Portugal but was not meant to win the World Cup, after a defeat to Morocco.
  • Ronaldo was on the bench against Morocco
  • Also a substitute in the win against Switzerland
  • Okocha labels Ronaldo an icon despite defeat

WHAT HAPPENED? In what is likely to be his final World Cup fixture for the Selecao, the 37-year-old Ronaldo came on in the 51st minute for Ruben Neves but was not able to prevent a 1-0 quarter-final defeat against the Atlas Lions at Al Thumama Stadium.

Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri scored the all-important goal which ensured the North Africans progressed to the last four where they will come up against France, who floored England 2-1 in the other last-eight battle.

The 49-year-old Okocha, who played 73 times for the Super Eagles between 1993 and 2006 and scored 14 times, believes the former Manchester United forward was not meant to add the World Cup trophy to his glittering career.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “Oh yes! We’ve seen it in this tournament. A lot of stars have cried because they knew this could be their last chance of playing in the World Cup,” Okocha told SuperSport TV as quoted by Nigeria Soccernet.

“We saw Luis [Suarez] and now Ronaldo. What a fantastic career he has had. He’s an icon but I mean, some things are not meant to be. I don’t think that it was meant for him to win the World Cup because they had everything, but credit to Morocco.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was seen leaving the pitch in tears and this was after he was once again dropped to the bench by manager Fernando Santos.

Against Switzerland in the Round of 16 fixture which the Selecao won 6-1, Ronaldo was benched before coming on in the 74th minute for Joao Felix.


WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? Having already parted ways with Premier League outfit Manchester United on mutual agreement, he will have to get a new club to keep his career going again.

Reports have already indicated he will sign for Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr on a two-and-a half-year-deal worth 200 million euros per season.