Cristiano Ronaldo: Portugal reject speculation over forward ‘threatened to leave World Cup’

cristiano ronaldo subbed off against south korea
Speculation that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the World Cup has been dismissed by the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF).

After the 37-year-old was left on the bench for the Selecao’s 6-1 win over Switzerland in the last 16, rumours emerged that discussions took place between player and head coach Fernando Santos.

With the legendary forward reportedly threatening to leave Qatar before the crucial tie against the Swiss.

The friction appears to have emerged due to Santos’ anger at how Ronaldo responded to being substituted against South Korea, prompting Goncalo Ramos to get the nod in the starting line-up.

He came on as a second-half substitute against Switzerland, but it was the first time since Euro 2008 that the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward was left out of a starting line-up at a major tournament since Euro 2008 and he held summit talks with Santos on Wednesday.

Reports circulated on Thursday that during those discussions Ronaldo, who also acted petulantly during his final few weeks as a United player before the club terminated his contract, warned he would turn his back on his country and leave Qatar ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final with Morocco.

But the FPF has quickly shut down speculation and insisted Ronaldo has an “unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team”.

A statement read: “News released this Thursday reports that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos, national coach.

“The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the internship in Qatar.

“Cristiano Ronaldo builds up a unique track record every day at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.

“Incidentally, the degree of dedication of the player most capped by Portugal was again demonstrated – if necessary – in the victory against Switzerland, in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup.

“The national team – players, coaches and FPF structure – is, as it has been since the first day, fully committed and enthusiastic in building what the country wants to be Portugal’s best ever participation in a World Cup.”

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