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Did Cristiano Ronaldo threaten to leave World Cup?

Ronaldo started Portugal’s 6-1 last-16 win over Switzerland on the bench and came on as a second-half substitute.

Portugal's forward #07 Cristiano Ronaldo takes part in a training session at the Al Shahaniya SC training site in Doha on December 8, 2022, in the build-up to the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter final football match between Portugal and Morocco. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP)

The Portuguese Football Federation has quashed reports Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to walk out on Portugal’s World Cup camp.

Ronaldo started his country’s 6-1 last-16 win over Switzerland on the bench and came on as a second-half substitute.

Talks between the veteran forward and Portugal boss Fernando Santos were held on Wednesday.

A report from Portuguese outlet Record claimed on Thursday that Ronaldo had threatened to leave Portugal’s World Cup squad ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final with Morocco after being left on the bench in the win against Switzerland.

Ramos replaces Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory.

The FPF has denied the speculation and insisted Ronaldo has an “unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team”.

A statement 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.”

Ronaldo responds

Ronaldo has since addressed these rumours as quoted by journalist Fabrizio Romano below.

Portugal’s all-time top scorer has denied the rumours, saying: “This group is too united to be broken by external forces. A nation too brave to be intimidated by any adversary. This is a true team, that will fight for the dream until the end.”


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