Cristiano Ronaldo upstaged by Lionel Messi once again as world player of year exits World Cup

Coming off his most successful season at club level, this was supposed to be the World Cup where Cristiano Ronaldo underlined his new-found superiority over great rival Lionel Messi and his status as the game's best player.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

Hindered not just by a left leg injury but also the poor quality of the Portugal teammates alongside him, Ronaldo exits the World Cup with one goal and some below-par performances — by his standards — from three group matches.

His lone goal was the winner in a 2-1 victory over Ghana on Thursday that couldn't prevent Portugal slipping out of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Messi has led Argentina into the last 16 with four goals, the joint-highest in Brazil.