Portugal have released a statement in response to claims in the press”Record Newspaper” that Cristiano Ronaldo “threatened to leave the national team”.
Ronaldo appeared to react angrily to being substituted in Portugal’s loss to South Korea in their final Group H match despite the former Manchester United striker claiming he was annoyed at something an opposition player had said to him.
Fernando Santos then dropped Ronaldo for their last-16 match against Switzerland in which the striker’s replacement, Goncalo Ramos, netted a hat-trick in a 6-1 win.
Santos admitted after the clash with South Korea that he didn’t like Ronaldo’s reaction to coming offwith Portuguese channel CMTV insisting that the 37-year-old said to the Portugal coach: “You’re in a f*cking hurry to take me off”.
And Portuguese newspaper Record Ronaldo was so livid about being left out against Switzerland that he had a row with Santos and asked to leave the national team setup.
But Portugal have felt the need to release a statement to deny those claims from Record ahead of their quarter-final clash with Morocco on Saturday.
Official statement from Portuguese FA:
“Reports claiming Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos are not true — FPF clarifies that at no time did Cristiano threaten to leave the national team in Qatar”.
“Cristiano Ronaldo continues to build on his unique record of service to the national team, which should be respected and which attests to his unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.”
The statement added: “The national team – players, coaches and the FPF structure – are fully committed and enthusiastic, as has been the case since day one, to building what we hope will be Portugal’s best ever World Cup.”
Gary Neville has urged Ronaldo to stop the “petulance” that has plagued the latter stages of his career after leaving Manchester United by mutual agreement last month.
“Well what happened at United, the suggestion was, it was because [Erik] Ten Hag was trying to make a move on him, he’s trying to establish his authority,” Neville told ITV.