Portugal’s football association have slammed reports that Cristiano Ronaldo has threatened to quit the Portugal national team after he was left on the substitutes bench for the round of 16 tie against Switzerland.
Ronaldo, who started all three group stage games as captain of the side, was dropped in favour of Goncalo Ramos, a move that paid dividends as Portugal immediately looked more dangerous, putting six past Switzerland with Ramos himself grabbing a hat-trick.
And, when questioned after the game, Portugal boss Fernando Santos said there was ‘no issue’ between the star and the rest of the camp following the decision to put him among the substitutes.
“Cristiano has shown that he is a professional of choice and a captain of a handful. He didn’t create any problem, really”, he explained.
“We spoke before the game and he had no issue with my decision. Cristiano’s an example”.
However, subsequent reports in Portuguese press claimed that this was in fact not the case, with Ronaldo threatening to leave the National camp after learning the news as opposed to being the ‘example’ lauded by Santos.
It has forced the Portuguese FA into action, with a statement confirming that this was indeed a fabrication, and that no such threat had been made.
“At no time has the captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threatened to leave the national team in Qatar”, they revealed. “Every day Cristiano Ronaldo builds a unique story at the service of the national team and the country which must be respected and which attests to the indisputable 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.”
Ronaldo is expected to be among the substitutes again when Portugal take on Morocco on Friday.