Adidas prove Cristiano Ronaldo didn't score Portugal's opening goal against Uruguay

Cristiano Ronaldo
(Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas have confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo did not touch the ball during Portugal's first goal against Uruguay at World Cup 2022, despite the forward claiming he had after wheeling away in celebration. 

In the 54th minute of the Group H clash between Portugal and Uruguay, Bruno Fernandes picked the ball up on the left wing and sent an angling cross towards Cristiano Ronaldo, who strained to reach the ball with his head. 

Initially it seemed as if Ronaldo made contact, but replays suggested the ball had gone directly in from Bruno's cross. 

Ronaldo still ran off celebrating, acting as if he had got the final decisive touch, but FIFA later awarded the goal to Bruno Fernandes. At the end of the game, Ronaldo still tried to claim he had scored, with reports emerging that the Portuguese FA were collating evidence to submit to FIFA that it was Ronaldo's goal.

However, Adidas, who provide the official Al Rihla ball for the Qatar World Cup, have a 500Hz IMU sensor inside the ball which didn't detect a touch from Ronaldo's attempted header. 

Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup

Adidas' sensors inside the ball didn't pick up a touch from Ronaldo  (Image credit: Adidas)

An Adidas statement read: "In the match between Portugal and Uruguay, using the Connected Ball Technology housed in Adidas’s Al Rihla Official Match Ball, we are able to definitively show no contact on the ball from Cristiano Ronaldo for the opening goal in the game.

"No external force on the ball could be measured as shown by the lack of ‘heartbeat’ in our measurements. 

"The 500Hz IMU sensor inside the ball allows us to be highly accurate in our analysis."

Sensors measure a 3-axis angle, angular velocity and acceleration on the ball, helping to determine specific goal speeds for graphics used at the tournament, for example. 

Sensors also help in determining whether a player has touched the ball for offside and VAR checks - what the German manufacturer perhaps didn't envisage was becoming embroiled in working out who the last player to touch the ball for a goal  was. 

If Ronaldo had been awarded that goal, he would've equalled Eusebio's nine goals at World Cup tournaments, a figure he had targeted before the beginning of the finals. However, with Portugal still to face South Korea in their final group match on Friday, and the nation already through to the last-16, he should have plenty more matches to at least draw level. 

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Ryan Dabbs
Staff writer

Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.