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.