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Cristiano Ronaldo produces most arrogant display in football history as Portugal win in spite of him

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s immense ego could have jeopardized Portugal and Roberto Martinez, but Diogo Costa’s brilliance ensured their success despite the world’s greatest goalscorer.

Just 30 seconds before one of football’s most self-centered displays, commentators Martin Keown and Guy Mowbray synchronized perfectly. “It’s ‘The Ronaldo Show’,” Keown declared. “And he’s got nothing to show for it,” Mowbray responded. It seemed as if Ronaldo overheard them and took offense, although their remarks were not intended to provoke.

By that point—37 minutes in—Ronaldo had juggled the ball to the fans’ delight, narrowly missed a free-kick, executed a few neat flicks to link the play, and mistimed three jumps for headers he would usually score from, having lost defenders with what was standard striker movement. This was praised by Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer in the BBC studio.

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For better and worse, it was all about Ronaldo. Mostly for better, until he took another direct free-kick in an extraordinary display of ego, one of the most laughable shows of arrogance seen on a football pitch.

The referee placed the ball about 15 yards from the byline, midway between the left edge of the penalty area and the touchline—an absurd angle. Ronaldo’s 58th direct free-kick in international football went nowhere near, lowering his success rate to 1.72% (1 in 58). This dropped further to 1.69% after his 59th attempt and to 1.67% after his 60th.

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The most absurd part was that Ronaldo had a much better chance of scoring from a header with the ball crossed from that favorable position. Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva had already delivered excellent crosses that Ronaldo should have capitalized on, making it seem like a testimonial match. But it felt more like an Under-10s game the moment Ronaldo stepped back from the ball and assumed his iconic stance.

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