Cristiano Ronaldo did not threaten to leave Portugal’s World Cup camp due to a disagreement with Coach Fernando Santos.
That is according to the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF), after reports emerged that Ronaldo had said he would abandon the squad following Santos’ decision to drop him to the bench for the round of 16 game against Switzerland.
Portugal went on to win 6-1 on Tuesday, with Ronaldo coming on as a substitute and having a goal disallowed for offside.
In a statement released today, the FPF insisted there was no issue between the 37-year-old and Santos.
“News released today reports that Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos,” the statement read.
“The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the Selecao, Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the stay in Qatar.
“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.”
Ronaldo’s replacement against Switzerland, Goncalo Ramos, scored a hat-trick, and with Portugal having performed so well without their skipper in the starting line-up, it seems unlikely Santos will draft the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward back in for Saturday’s quarter-final against Morocco. (Sportsmax)