Cristiano Ronaldo woke up this morning with a new record and a Euro 2016 knockout tie against Croatia to look forward to.
The 31-year-old was under immense pressure after failing to perform against Iceland or Austria but took centre stage in Portugal's final group game against Hungary.
Ronaldo scored twice – one of which was world-class – in the 3-3 draw, allowing Portugal to scrape through Group F as one of the best third-placed finishers. It also placed him as the only man to score in four successive European Championships.
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The relief on his face was clear to see. It has been a rough couple of weeks for the Real Madrid star, who has had to deal with fierce criticism from the media.
A rhetoric of Ronaldo as an egocentric maniac was perpetuated by his comments in the aftermath of Iceland's heroic 1-1 draw, in which he referred to them as a "small". It was further strengthened when he snatched a microphone off of a reporter and threw it into a lake. Yes, you heard that right.
If you have not already seen it, you can below:
Demanding an apology
Having inspired his team into the knockout stages, you would think the TV station involved, Correio da Manha TV, would forgive Ronaldo for the incident and simply move on. But no.
The director of the channel, Carlos Rodrigues, has released a statement demanding an apology from the national hero, stating it was "very serious" and "embarrassing for the whole nation".
"At the very least we deserve a formal apology from Ronaldo and the Federation. As captain, Ronaldo has an institutional role with the national team," Rodrigues said, according to Sport.
He also confirmed the station would be taking measures "which will be announced in due time to prevent this happening again and to condemn a lamentable attitude."
The statement has only served to increase the bad blood between Ronaldo and CMTV. It has been reported that Ronaldo's history with the network is long as it is controversial.
A report in The Sun claimed Ronaldo had previously sued and won a case against the TV station for an invasion of privacy. He is believed to have boycotted the station ever since.
Despite Ronaldo's performance against Hungary, it is clear the three-time Ballon d'Or winner is struggling with some demons. Indeed, he refused to speak to reporters after the game on Wednesday, instead choosing to release a carefully worded statement on the game.
He was also seen reacting badly after Portugal conceded the third and final goal against Hungary, which required him to score again to make sure they qualified.
As always, Ronaldo has placed himself in a mindset where he believes he against the world. That usually ends in disaster for either himself or the opposition. Let's wait and find out.
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