Adidas say that Cristiano Ronaldo did not touch the ball for Portugal's first goal in their 2-0 Group H win over Uruguay on Monday. The 37-year-old celebrated as if he had scored the 54th minute opener before FIFA eventually awarded the goal to Bruno Fernandes who had crossed the ball in.
Ronaldo still tried to claim the goal post-match and the Portuguese soccer federation were believed to be putting together evidence to back up their top scorer's claims. However, Al Rihla ball manufacturer Adidas consulted the 5000Hz IMU sensor in the ball to disprove that.
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"In the match between Portugal and Uruguay," read Adidas' statement to ESPN via FIFA. "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."
FIFA say they won’t be awarding Cristiano Ronaldo the opening goal against Uruguay. They argue technology inside the ball “definitively shows” Ronaldo got no touch.— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) November 29, 2022
“No external force on the ball could be measured as shown by the lack of 'heartbeat' in our measurements.” pic.twitter.com/WRZ3r01RVY
Adidas' sensors measure a three-axis angle as well as angular velocity and ball acceleration which can aid specific goal speed details for broadcast purposes among other functions. The sensors can also determine whether a player has touched the ball on contentious offside and VAR calls -- like this one.
"I do not think it really matters who scored the goal at this point," said Fernandes post-match. "The feeling I had was Cristiano touched the ball, I was putting the ball to him and the important thing is we were able to win the match against a very tough opponent."
Had Ronaldo been awarded that goal, he would have equaled Eusebio's nine World Cup goals record for Portugal. South Korea on Friday will be his next chance to break that record, but it remains intact for now and could last in to the knockout phase -- and while you're at it, sign up for our new newsletter covering the beautiful game in all its glory -- including daily updates about the World Cup -- here.