Fifa have labelled Cristiano Ronaldo a “total genius” for the “smart” way he won a controversial penalty in Portugal’s World Cup opener.
Ghana boss Otto Addo was outraged by the soft spot-kick that Ronaldo converted to become the first player to score at five World Cups.
Legend Ron tumbled all too easily under the challenge of Mohammed Salisu but Fifa claim it was a perfect example of strikers getting smarter” in their thinking and movement.
The historic goal from the Manchester United discard sparked a 3-2 victory.
And Sunday Oliseh, from Fifa’s technical study group (TSG), believes Ronaldo, 37, should be “complimented” for it.
Oliseh told a briefing in Doha: “Maybe the strikers are getting smarter?
“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.
“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.”
Ronaldo flew to the floor out of all proportion to the slight touch he seemed to get from Southampton defender Salisu.
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And Addo said: “I think the referee didn’t make the right decision… He gave a penalty which was not a penalty – everyone saw that.
“Why? Because it’s Ronaldo or something?
“If someone scores a goal, congratulations. Congratulations… With special gifts from the referees.
“The referee was not in our favour.”
Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger leads TSG, which examines each match for trends and stats.
Nine penalties were awarded in the first 20 games.
That suggests the previous record of 24 spot-kicks in World Cup group games – set in Russia four years ago – could be beaten.