Cristiano Ronaldo has been called a “total genius” by Fifa for the way in which he won a penalty for Portugal in their World Cup victory over Ghana.
The 37-year-old converted from the spot to become the first man to score at five different Fifa World Cups.
Portugal won 3-2, but the awarding of the spot-kick outraged Ghana boss Otto Addo, who said it was “not a penalty”.
At a briefing in Doha, Fifa technical study group (TSG) member Sunday Oliseh said strikers are “getting smarter”.
The TSG, which is led by former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, looks at each match and provides analysis including performance data and trends
After 20 games in this tournament, nine penalties have been awarded, which is on track to reach the previous record of 24 that were given in the group stages in Russia four years ago.
Poland’s Robert Lewandowski and Canada’s Alphonso Davies have seen their efforts saved, while the remaining seven have been scored.
This includes Ronaldo, who went down under a challenge from Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu. Former England defender Matt Upson, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, called it a “dive”.
Ghana boss Addo was left fuming after the defeat and told BeIN Sports: “The referee gave a penalty which was not a penalty – everyone saw that. Why? Because it’s Ronaldo or something?
“The referee was not in our favour.”
But former Nigeria international Oliseh, who played at the 1998 World Cup, feels Ronaldo was clever in his movement to win the penalty that allowed him to score his 118th international goal.
“Maybe the strikers are getting smarter?” said Oliseh.