Cristiano Ronaldo was consoled by Serbia international Nemanja Radonjic following Portugal ‘s dramatic 2-1 home World Cup qualifying defeat on Sunday evening.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was highly emotional following the visitors last-gasp winner, which in turn prevented Portugal from qualifying for next year’s World Cup automatically.
As a result, Ronaldo’s side will have to seal their place in Qatar via the play-offs, where a number of potentially stern tests await them should the draw be unkind.
After the full-time whistle had blown and a number of Serbia players and staff sprinted on the pitch to celebrate their victory, Radonjic – often compared to Ronaldo by his teammates due to his apparent similar playing style, was the first to check on the Manchester United icon.
HAVE YOUR SAY! Will Portugal qualify for the World Cup? Comment below
Radonjic has previously been dubbed ‘SR7’ by adoring Marseille fans who took to the player during his loan spell in the south of France.
The sweet exchange between the two was captured on camera and eventually uploaded to Radonjic’s
[Instagram] profile accompanied with the caption: “Hand to the greatest”, followed by the goat emoji.
During his time in Ligue 1 , Radonjic bagged five goals and one assist – hardly the kind of numbers the footballing world associates with Ronaldo.
The Serbian international has previously addressed the comparisons between himself and Ronaldo, claiming: “I saw that my team-mates compared me to Ronaldo on Instagram.
“It may be because we have a similar game during games and training.”
To say the two are comparable would be generous to Radonjic given the huge gulf in quality when it comes to goal-scoring and accolades.
In a struggling Man Utd side this term, Ronaldo has notched nine goals in 13 games across all competitions – that figure tops the amount of league goals Radonjic has scored both last season and this term combined.
Has Ronaldo been Manchester United’s best performer so far this season? Vote below
This season, the Serb has found the net just once while on loan at Portuguese giants Benfica from Marseille, contributing to his tally of four goals across the last season and a half.
On a wider scale, Ronaldo’s entire career statistics dwarf those of his Serbian duplicate by some distance.
Ronaldo’s return of 798 goals in 1089 games leaves him on the brink of footballing history as the first player in the game’s history to reach the 800 mark, while Radonjic currently sits on 26 in 161 appearances.
Ronaldo’s frustration at the end of the Serbia clash may have partly been stemmed from the fear Portugal have spurned his last chance to enjoy World Cup success.
The 36-year-old has already conceded that Qatar represents what will most likely be his last major tournament with his country – given he will be in 40’s by the time the 2026 World Cup rolls around.
The likes of Italy, Sweden, Russia and Poland could be up next for Ronaldo’s struggling national side..