Needing just three wins to lift the 2022 FIFA World Cup and beginning the journey against unfavored Morocco on Saturday, Portugal slipped to a historic 1-0 defeat against the Atlas Lions, meaning Morocco's the first African side to ever reach the semifinals while Cristiano Ronaldo's record-setting international career is at a crossroads.
He might still carry on through Euro 2024, but the 37-year-old might also recognize that after starting Portugal's last two matches on the bench and only scoring one goal (a penalty) in 290 minutes of play, it might be in the best interests of both player and country to go in a new direction.
The leading scorer in the history of men's international football could only watch on as Morocco's Youssef En-Nesyri (looking a lot like Ronaldo with a commanding leap) dispatched a towering header in the 42nd minute.
Ronaldo's reaction after Morocco's goal pic.twitter.com/8fg4pyWp4W
Fernando Santos brought Ronaldo on in the 51st minute to find an equalizer, and while he wasn't heavily involved with only 10 touches, the free agent made an impact.
In the 82nd, Ronaldo created a chance for João Félix.
WHAT A SAVE BY BONO pic.twitter.com/vJXZML7DrN
In the 91st, Ronaldo had an opportunity that Bono saved.
BONO WITH ANOTHER HUGE SAVE pic.twitter.com/9J1ELMfemF
The final whistle sounded and Ronaldo went straight down the tunnel in tears.
An emotional Ronaldo heads into the tunnel after Portugal's elimination pic.twitter.com/HUR2HWBLy2
Ronaldo has two huge decisions to make now. Does he remain committed to playing at Euro 2024? He said that was the target back in September. Then, which club does Ronaldo sign for in what could potentially be the final contract of his professional career?
He has that $200 million a year offer from Saudi Arabia's Al-Nassr, but he might decide to stay in Europe.