Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out for the first time since his country’s exit from the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Fernando Santos’ side were eliminated after a 1-0 defeat to Morocco in the quarter-finals on December 10.
The forward came off the bench for both of his team’s knockout games. There were reports, after the clash against Switzerland, that he wanted to leave his side’s camp in Qatar in response to being left out of the starting lineup. However, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has now rubbished those claims.
Ronaldo has also explained, in his post, how he dreamt of winning the FIFA World Cup trophy with Portugal. This was the 37-year-old’s last World Cup, and he stressed how hard he fought to help his side achieve their goals.
“Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career,” Ronaldo wrote. “Fortunately I won many titles of international dimension, including Portugal, but putting our country’s name on the highest foot in the World was my biggest dream.”
“I fought for it. I fought hard for this dream,” he added. “In the five appearances I scored in World Cups over 16 years, always by the side of great players and supported by millions of Portuguese, I gave my all. Leave it all out on the field. I never turned my face to the fight and I never gave up on that dream. Sadly yesterday (Friday) the dream ended.”
The legendary forward went on to slam all the reports that cast doubt on his commitment to his nation, as he wrote:
“It’s not worth reacting in the heat of the moment. I just want you all to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed not for a moment. I was always one fighting for the objective of all and I would never turn my back on my colleagues and my country.”
“Not much more to say for now. Thank you Portugal. Thank you Qatar. The dream was nice while it lasted… Now, it’s hoping that time will be good advisor and allow each one to draw their own conclusions.”
Portugal coach Fernando Santos rubbished claims that Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to leave their FIFA World Cup camp
Fernando Santos stressed after his team’s game against Switzerland that Ronaldo never wanted to leave Portugal’s FIFA World Cup camp. While he admitted that Ronaldo was unhappy, Santos refuted claims about the former Real Madrid man wanting to abandon his campaign.
“When a player is captain of Portugal and starts on the bench, it’s normal for him not to be happy. When I told him that I wasn’t going to play as a starter, he asked me if it was a good idea. Of course he wasn’t happy. But I assure you that he never wanted to leave.”
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