Indian batter and former skipper Virat Kohli has penned down a heartfelt note for Portugal’s star Cristiano Ronaldo, citing him “greatest of all time.”
Morocco became the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals as Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half goal sealed a tense 1-0 victory over Portugal at Al Thumama Stadium.
Cristiano Ronaldo has likely played his last World Cup match after making an ineffectual appearance as a second-half substitute, failing to score his first knockout-phase goal at the tournament before departing down the tunnel in tears.
Being an athlete and one of the biggest supporters of Ronaldo, Kohli must have felt the pressure the star footballer was going through.
“No trophy or any title can take anything away from what you’ve done in this sport and for sports fans around the world,” wrote Kohli.
The star batter added: “No title can explain the impact you’ve had on people and what I and so many around the world feel when we watch you play. That’s a gift from god. A real blessing to a man who plays his heart out every single time and is the epitome of hard work and dedication and a true inspiration for any sportsperson. You are for me the greatest of all time.”
Remember that Morocco became the first African team ever to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup after defeating Portugal 1-0.
Youssef En-Nesyri’s first-half header secured a historic win for Morocco, who will play defending champions France or England for a place in the final. Morocco has surpassed the three other African sides to reach the quarter-finals in Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002, and Ghana in 2010.
Cristiano Ronaldo has likely played his last World Cup match after making an ineffectual appearance as a second-half substitute, failing to score his first knockout-phase goal at the tournament.
Morocco took a 42nd-minute lead through En-Nesyri’s header as they came on strongly late in the first period. Portugal piled on the pressure after the break but an injury-hit Morocco, without three of their four first-choice defenders once skipper Romain Saiss was forced off, hung on despite being reduced to 10 men in added time.
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo was sent on early in the second half by coach Fernando Santos but could not rescue the Euro 2016 winners. Instead, it was another famous day for Morocco, after previous upset wins over Belgium and Spain, on penalties, in Qatar.