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Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo named in worst XI of FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage

Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to play his best football in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022. The Portugal captain was disappointing in the group stage, although Portugal qualified for the Round of 16. Ronaldo scored a penalty in the opener vs Ghana as Portugal sealed a 3-2 win, followed by a 2-0 victory against Uruguay. But then in their final Group H encounter, they crashed to a 1-2 defeat vs South Korea. Despite the defeat, Portugal managed to finish on top spot in Group H and will face Switzerland in their Round of 16 fixture at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Wednesday. To make matters worse on a personal front, Ronaldo received a Sofascore average rating of 6.37 for his group stage displays, which puts him in the worst XI of the World Cup group stages.

The list consists of four Qatar players, two from Canada and Costa Rica each, and one player each from Saudi Arabia and Australia. Here is the worst XI of the FIFA World Cup 2022 group stage:

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After qualifying for the Round of 16, the Portugal captain had an important message for his teammates and fans. Taking to Instagram, he wrote, “First two goals achieved: grading and leading our group. But there is so much more to come! Come on Portugal!”

Ronaldo has hardly had much action in club football in the second season of his second stint with Manchester United. To make matters worse, he saw his contract with United get terminated after a controversial interview with Piers Morgan, where he criticised the club. During the defeat vs South Korea, he was also involved in a verbal spat with a opposition player, who criticised him for failing to leave the field quickly enough when he was substituted in the 65th-minute.

“It happened when I was substituted. The Korean player was telling me to go off more quickly and I told him to be quiet, because he hasn’t got any authority,” Ronaldo told reporters.

“If I wasn’t going quickly enough, it was up to the referee to say so. There shouldn’t be any controversy, it was just in the heat of the moment.”

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