A second loss for Morocco will all but eliminate them, while a Portugal loss will put them into a must-win scenario against Iran in a few days. Since then, he has plundered 32 in 33 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Spain´s midfielder Andres Iniesta (L) and coach Fernando Hierro attend a press conference in Kazan on June 19, 2018 ahead of their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group B football match against Iran. To get the latest soccer news, text "SPORTS" to 22840. But they will have a long time to think about it as their tournament is now over.
The Moroccan team, however, was not lucky enough to score against the Portuguese squad after Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in the 4th minute of the match. Cristiano Ronaldo (R) and his former teammate Patrice Evra (L).
The five-time Ballon d'Or victor has tasted victory in the Russian capital before, winning the Champions League title here with Manchester United in 2008 and also scoring as Portugal beat Russia in the Confederations Cup last summer. "He is a warrior who wanted to play", said Renard, echoing the refrain that has caused so much damage to sportsmen for decades.
"It is a privilege for us to have Ronaldo in our team".
"So he sent his cousin to buy a tennis table, he trained for two weeks at home, came back and beat Rio in front of everyone".
Iran have never beaten a European side at a World Cup - their only previous victory was a 2-1 win over the United States in France in 1998.
"This guy, he's a machine, he doesn't want to stop training".
If you plan on going deep in this tournament, you have to capitalize on your chances.
Morocco coach Herve Renard opted for a back four, with Manuel Da Costa and Nabil Dirar coming into the side, to provide added protection against the "absolutely exceptional" Ronaldo after his hat-trick against Spain.
Portugal boss Fernando Santos made one change to the team that started against Spain last time out, with Joao Mario taking the place of Bruno Fernandes on the left. And should Santos elevate Silva to the starting XI, the AC Milan forward knows he will be privileged to link up with one of the game's greats.
"We did well defensively, but we need more than that".