The Portuguese FA have denied a report that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the World Cup during a conversation with head coach Fernando Santos.
Record, a Portuguese publication, has reported that Ronaldo told his manager he could leave Qatar after finding out he would be benched for the last 16 encounter against Switzerland – which Portugal won 6-1 – before calming down and realizing that his departure could have a negative impact. crew.
But the Portuguese Football Federation dismissed that version of events in a statement released on Thursday, which defended Ronaldo’s legacy and his dedication to the team.
A statement from the national football federation read: “Reports released this Thursday report that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to quit the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos, the national coach.
“The FPF specifies 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 a unique track record every day in the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the undeniable degree of commitment to the national team.
“In passing, the degree of commitment of the player most capped by Portugal was again demonstrated – if necessary – during the victory against Switzerland, in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup.
“The national team – players, coaches and FPF structure – are, as they have been from day one, fully engaged and enthusiastic in building what the country wants to be Portugal’s best appearance at a World Cup. .”
Ronaldo’s role for the remainder of the World Cup is something that needs to be “defined”, Portugal boss Santos said after benching his captain for their emphatic 6-1 win over Switzerland.
The 37-year-old watched from the bench as his substitute Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick to prepare for a quarter-final against Morocco.
Asked about Ronaldo after the Swiss win, Santos said: “It’s still something that needs to be defined.
“I have a very close relationship with him – I always have, I’ve known him since he was 19.
“This relationship is only growing, Ronaldo and I never interpret the human aspect of being a manager and a player. [in relation to] what we have to do during the game.
“I will always consider in my role that he is an important player to have in the team.”
When asked directly if Ronaldo would play against Morocco, Santos replied optimistically: “Ronaldo will definitely [be involved]all players on the bench can be used, if they are not in the starting line-up they can play later.
“It’s important to look at the example of this player’s history, he’s one of the best players in the world to play professionally, as a captain – all we have to do is think about this team collectively. .”