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The Portuguese Football Federation has denied a report claiming that captain and superstar Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to quit the FIFA World Cup over his demotion to the bench.
“News released this Thursday reports that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos, national coach,” the Federation said in a statement shared by Sky Sports News. “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.”
Ronaldo’s turbulent fall continued when he was spotted yelling toward Santos shortly after the forward was subbed off during Portugal’s 2-1 loss to South Korea last Friday. Santos subsequently benched the 37-year-old for this past Tuesday’s game versus Switzerland that Portugal won 6-1. Goncalo Ramos, Ronaldo’s replacement, notched a hat-trick in that victory, and it was later reported by Portuguese publication Record that CR7 threatened to leave Santos’ squad amid the ongoing World Cup over being relegated to substitute duties.
“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 FPF statement added. “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 addressed the controversy via Instagram: