Cristiano Ronaldo rubbishes claim of his ‘threat’ to Portugal; girlfriend slams coach over ‘wrong decision’

Lewis Oldham
Ronaldo on Portugal exit

Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out following Portugal’s World Cup exit and he has hit back at journalists who questioned his commitment to his country.

Portugal were beaten 1-0 by Morocco in the quarter-finals of the competition on Saturday.

This result saw Morocco become the first-ever African team to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.

Ronaldo did not start in Portugal’s knockout ties against Switzerland and Morocco.

His replacement – Goncalo Ramos – netted a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory over Switzerland.

The 37-year-old came on against Morocco at half-time but he was unable to alter the complexion of the game as Portugal failed to earn a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament.

Ronaldo was dropped by Fernando Santos after his furious response to being substituted in Portugal’s group stage loss against South Korea.

This led to reports claiming that Ronaldo “threatened to leave the national team”. 

He has now responded to this “speculation” and has confirmed that the 2022 World Cup is his last.

“Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

“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. In the 5 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 the dream ended. It’s not worth reacting to heat. 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 the weather will be a good advisor and allow each one to draw their own conclusions.”

Ronaldo’s comments come after his girlfriend – Georgina Rodriguez – took aim at Santos for not starting him against Morocco.

“You shouldn’t give your face for those who don’t deserve it,” Rodriguez said.

“Today your friend and coach made the wrong decision. That friend for whom you have so many words of admiration and respect. The same one who, when putting you on the field, saw how everything changed, but it was too late.

“You can’t underestimate the best player of the world, its most powerful weapon. Much less should one stand up for those who don’t deserve it. Life gives us lessons. Today we don’t lose, we learn. We admire you.”

READ MORE: Ronaldo sympathy still in the distance but empathy is possible after that public scrum