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Did Cristiano Ronaldo’s Goatee, Long Sleeves & ‘Bizarre Rituals’ Help Him Win World Cup Game?

Cristiano Ronaldo is living up to his G.O.A.T. status.

Portugal’s soccer star led his home country to victory during the Group B match against Morocco today — and his historic goal is making just as many headlines as his new goatee.

Cristiano Ronaldo, 2018 World Cup, Portugal, soccer
Cristiano Ronaldo plays in the 2018 World Cup Group B match between Portugal and Morocco.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

The Real Madrid forward redefined the meaning of being the “Greatest of All Time,” unseating Hungary’s Ferenc Puskas for the most international goals by a European player following his 85th goal at the fourth minute of the match at the Luzhniki Stadium in Russia.

Ronaldo also took that acronym quite literally — sporting an actual goatee for Wednesday’s game that officially knocked the North African team out of World Cup contention. (Fans speculated on social media that the star was sending a message to rival player Lionel Messi, who fronted an Adidas ad with a real-life goat to illustrate the point.)

The 33-year-old athlete complemented the stubble with his signature long-sleeve look and personalized Nike cleats — of which he designed a mass-market iteration through the Swoosh’s Free CR7 x Metcon trainers, released in May.

Although it remains unclear why he opts for long-sleeve jerseys, fan site Football Target cited that the tradition marks one of Ronaldo’s “bizarre rituals,” which include his sitting at the back of the bus on the way to a game and stepping onto the pitch with his right foot first.

Cristiano Ronaldo, soccer cleats, 2018 World Cup, Nike
A detailed shot of Cristiano Ronaldo’s cleats.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

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