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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Colin Millar

Cristiano Ronaldo suffers more woe as he loses record in tearful Portugal World Cup exit

Youssef En-Nesyri’s headed goal not only secured Morocco’s place in the World Cup final four - but also set a personal record.

The Sevilla striker leapt high to take advantage of a misjudgement from goalkeeper Diogo Costa and score the only goal of the game as Portugal crashed out of the World Cup on Saturday. It was a goal that will go down in history as sending an African team to the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time.

The headed winner in the 42nd minute also set a record. En-Nesyri has been recorded as heading home from a whopping height of 2.78 metres - higher than Cristiano Ronaldo's header for Juventus against Sampdoria in December 2019.

Ronaldo was an amazing 8ft 5in - 2.56 metres - off the ground when he made contact with the header during the Serie A match three years ago, setting a new record. That stood until his nation was downed by Morocco in Saturday’s quarter-final.

Then-Sampdoria boss Claudio Ranieri had said in the immediate aftermath of the superstar’s header: "Ronaldo did something that you see in the NBA, he was up in the air for an hour and a half." Gary Lineker tweeted of the goal: "Ronaldo has just scored a far post header where his feet were higher than the crossbar. It’s only a slight exaggeration. Ridiculous leap."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored an astonishing header against Sampdoria in 2019 (Juventus FC via Getty Images)

Yet Ronaldo’s record has been surpassed by En-Nesyri’s incredible leap to send Morocco into the last four at the expense of Portugal. Ronaldo, who is without a club, had to watch on from the bench until his introduction as a second-half substitute.

"We are all happy, with a lot of joy for the victory," Morocco striker En-Nesyri – who jumped between defenders Pepe and Ruben Dias to win the header – said after the match, as quoted by Marca. "I thank my teammates and the fans. After not being able to in 2018, I told my teammates that we were going to beat Spain and Portugal."

En-Nesyri set a new record as he headed Morocco into the World Cup last four (Ariel Schalit/AP/REX/Shutterstock)

Have Your Say! What are the best headed goals you have seen ? Tell us what you think here.

Ronaldo left the pitch in tears on Saturday. The superstar forward became the first player to score in five different World Cups but will be aged 41 for the next edition of the tournament and is unlikely to still be involved for his nation.

Ronaldo ended his relationship with Manchester United by mutual consent last month, following his bombshell interview with Piers Morgan. He is a free agent and is hopeful of joining a new club in the January – with Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr strongly linked with a move.

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