Portugal deny reports that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave World Cup | World Cup 2022

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) has denied reports that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to walk out on Portugal’s World Cup campaign.

The 37-year-old was on the bench for his country’s last-16 win against Switzerland by Fernando Santos, having reacted poorly to being substituted in the final group game against South Korea.

Ronaldo came on as a second-half substitute, 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 lineup at a major tournament, and he held summit talks with Santos on Wednesday.

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Reports circulated on Thursday that during those discussions Ronaldo, who 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 before 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”.

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

“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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