The Portuguese FA has denied a report that claimed Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the World Cup in a conversation with head coach Fernando Santos.
Record, a Portuguese publication, reported that Ronaldo told his coach he might 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 realising his departure could negatively impact the team.
But the Portugal Football Federation has rejected this version of events in a statement released on Thursday, which defended Ronaldo’s legacy and dedication to the team.
A statement from the nation’s football federation 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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