Will Ronaldo play at the World Cup? Has Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo been picked by Portugal for Qatar 2022

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s time at Manchester United is over after an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in the build up to Portugal’s World Cup campaign

Cristiano Ronaldo has left Manchester United and has reached a mutual agreement with the club to end his contract six months early.

Ronaldo’s departure comes less than a week after his explosive 90 minute interview with Piers Morgan. During the interview the Portuguese striker claimed his manager Erik Ten Hag had “betrayed him” by trying to “force him out” of the club.

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The 37-year-old striker was a key figure for Manchester United last season and scored a total of 24 goals in all competitions. However, Ronaldo was a peripheral figure under Ten Hag this season and has featured in just 10 Premier League games.

Ronaldo’s departure comes in the final days leading up to Portugal’s World Cup campaign in Qatar and videos have circulated online of a frosty reunion between Ronaldo and his Manchester United team mate Bruno Fernandes.

But has Ronaldo been included in Portugal’s World Cup squad and how will his Manchester United departure impact their preparations for the tournament?

Here is everything you need to know.

Is Cristiano Ronaldo included in the Portugal World Cup Squad?

Cristiano Ronaldo has been included in Portugal’s 26 man squad ahead of the World Cup in Qatar. The 37-year-old forward was always expected to be included although he is currently in the midst of the most difficult campaign of his illustrious career.

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Ronaldo is set to play in a record-equalling fifth World Cup of his career and is likely to play a key role in his country’s hopes in Qatar.

How many times has Ronaldo played for Portugal?

Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the greatest ever Portuguese footballer and has been an ever present for his country since 2003.

Over the course of his 19 year international career, Ronaldo has made a record breaking 191 appearances for his country - making him Europe’s most capped male player.

How many times has Ronaldo scored for Portugal?

Cristiano Ronaldo has enjoyed a sensational career at international level and is viewed by many Portuguese fans as untouchable due to his prolific goal scoring ability.

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The five time Ballon d’Or winner has scored a staggering 117 goals for his country - making him the top scorer in the history of international football.

Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the best ever Portuguese footballer. (Getty Images)Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the best ever Portuguese footballer. (Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo is regarded as the best ever Portuguese footballer. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Can Ronaldo break into the World Cup’s all time leading goalscorers in 2022?

Cristiano Ronaldo will be aiming to further enhance his status as an all-time-great in the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.

Ronaldo has shined on the world stage for Portugal in the European Championships and currently holds the record for the most goals in the tournament’s history with 14.

However, the 37-year-old striker is yet to show his best form in the World Cup. Over the course of four tournaments the Portuguese striker has hit seven goals in the World Cup and is nine behind all time record goalscorer Miroslav Klose.

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All of Ronaldo’s seven goals have come in the group stage of the World Cup and he is yet to score a goal in the knockout stage of the competition.

How has Ronaldo fared in previous World Cup tournaments?

Cristiano Ronaldo is yet to win the World Cup with Portugal in his career and at the age of 37 it is likely that this will be his final opportunity to get his hands on the one trophy that eludes him.

The five time Ballon d’Or winner came closest to winning the World Cup in 2006 when Portugal narrowly missed out on a place in the final after a 1-0 semi-final defeat to France.

This is how Portugal have fared in the last four World Cup tournaments:

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  • World Cup 2006: Semi-final
  • World Cup 2010: Round of 16
  • World Cup 2014: Group stage
  • World Cup 2018: Round of 16

How has Ronaldo’s interview impacted Portugal’s World Cup preparations?

The five time Ballon d’Or winner has been described by Portuguese football fans as “bigger than the Catholic church” and has been seen as an untouchable and indispensable member of the squad due to his goal record and contribution to his country.

However, for the first time in his career his status has been questioned by some sections of the Portuguese media and traditional sports paper A Bola recently published a cover debating the timing of his interview with the headline “Less Ronaldo, more Portugal”.

Portuguese football pundit Antonio Tadeia said: “I still think Cristiano can be very useful, but it would be important to find some balance on how to use him because he no longer has the same physical condition. The point here is whether he would be capable of understanding.”

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