The Portuguese FA says that Cristiano Ronaldo never said he would leave the World Cup in Qatar. Record, a Portuguese newspaper, said that the 37-year-old told his coach, Fernando Santos, he might leave when he found out he wouldn’t be playing against Switzerland in the last 16 (which Portugal won 6–1), but then he calmed down and realized that leaving would hurt the team.
But the Portugal Football Federation said in a statement released on Thursday that this version of events is not true. The statement also defended Ronaldo’s legacy and commitment to the team.
A statement from the football federation of the country said:
“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.”