Portugal have rubbished reports suggesting that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to walk out on their squad after being dropped against Switzerland.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was only named on the bench by Fernando Santos for a World Cup last-16 showdown with the Swiss after reacting angrily to being substituted in a final group stage encounter with South Korea.
He was given 17 minutes in a thumping 6-1 win, but saw replacement Goncalo Ramos net a stunning hat-trick and was reported by Record to have held showdown talks in which he hinted at leaving the Portuguese camp.
The Portuguese FA has said in a statement refuting those claims: “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 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.”
Ronaldo is the all-time leading goalscorer in men’s international football, with 118 efforts to his name, and has earned 195 caps for his country over the course of the last 19 years.
As he remains part of the Portugal squad, Ronaldo will be hoping to play a more prominent role when Santos’ side return to action on Saturday in a quarter-final clash with Morocco.