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World Cup

25th Jun 2018

Here’s why Cristiano Ronaldo turns to the side during Portugal’s national anthem


Cristiano Ronaldo stance during Portugal’s national anthem at the World Cup was spotted by viewers watching at home.

Before Portugal’s 3-3 draw with Spain in their opening game of the 2018 World Cup – when Ronaldo scored a hat-trick – the Real Madrid forward stood to the side as his teammates faced forward during the anthems.

Ahead of their second group game, a 1-0 win over Morocco, when Ronaldo scored again, he did the same, turning slightly to the side. The 33-year-old was the only Portugal player to do so again.

It’s not a case one set of rules for Ronaldo and another for the rest of his teammates. And he wasn’t just turning to the side to catch a reflection of himself. The former Manchester United forward was merely facing Portugal’s flag when he turned to the side.

Damien Duff thought he was doing something similar for the Republic of Ireland a couple of years ago. During the second-leg of Ireland’s Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia in November 2011, the former Chelsea winger turned to the side to sing the national anthem, thinking he was facing the flag.

However, Duff was facing where the flag was positioned at the old Landsdowne Road.

The rest of the Ireland team turned to where the flag was at the new Aviva Stadium, but no-one thought to tell Damien.

Ronaldo is in action on Monday night as Portugal take-on Iran in their final game of Group B.

If he keeps up his sensational form at the World Cup, and scores the goals to get Portugal into the last-16, he can probably stand where he wants during the pre-game national anthem.