Ronaldo A ‘Total Genius’ For Winning Portugal Penalty : FIFA

Cristiano Ronaldo has been called a “total genius” by FIFA for the way he won a controversial penalty for Portugal in their dramatic 3-2 win over Ghana.

The 37-year-old striker went down under a challenge from Mohammed Salisu when the two were running for the ball inside the penalty area in what appeared to be minimal contact.

Referee Ismail Elfath pointed to the spot and declined to view the pitchside VAR monitor despite a protest by the Ghanaian side.

Ronaldo converted from the spot to become the first man to score at five different Fifa World Cups.

However, amidst the criticism of the decision to award Portugal the spot kick, Fifa have instead praised Ronaldo for how he was fouled.

“Maybe the strikers are getting smarter?” Sunday Oliseh, who is a member of the Fifa technical study group (TSG) said at a briefing in Doha.

“The Ronaldo penalty, people can say what they want about him, but the smartness to wait for that second, to touch the ball, continue his leg and then get the contact. That is total genius.

 The former Nigeria player continued to say that these penalties are now given more frequently because of VAR. 

“Let’s give strikers the compliment for getting smarter. VAR is also a major reason why this [more penalties being awarded] is happening. Referees can look at it three or four times.”

Meanwhile, not everyone agrees with Oliseh’s verdict on the penalty. 

Ghana manager Otto Addo was furious with the decision and labelled it a “gift” from the officials.

He said: “I don’t know whether they weren’t paying attention, whether the VAR wasn’t paying attention. If you look back at the scene, it is unbelievable. We were playing the ball, it was a foul against us!”

“I tried and asked some people from FIFA if I could speak to the referee in a calm and quiet way. They said he was in a meeting and not possible.”

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