Controversy-embroiled Cristiano Ronaldo was rumored to have threatened the Portuguese authorities to walk out from the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
However, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) finally gave an official statement, shutting down all the alleged rumors.
FPF earlier on Thursday denied any reports that Cristiano Ronaldo had even threatened to abandon the Portuguese national team in the ongoing global showpiece in Qatar after he was dropped off from the starting eleven against Switzerland.
Ronaldo was surprisingly benched against Portugal’s crucial round of 16 match against Switzerland earlier. The coach’s bold move surprisingly proved fruitful for the squad because Ronaldo’s replacement, Ramos, scored a hat trick in the 6-1 victory against the Swiss.
Although Ronaldo later arrived from the bench on the pitch with only 17 minutes to go till the final whistle, he failed to have much impact on the result of the match. He did net the ball once, but the goal was disallowed due to the offside rule.
After the match, a video of Ronaldo straight up walking off the pitch instead of celebrating with his teammates had also gone viral.
The FPF has, however, come to the Portuguese’s rescue, saying,
“The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the Selecao, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the stay in Qatar.”
The federation also added, “Every day, Ronaldo is building up a unique track record at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected.”
The FPF also said Ronaldo’s substituted appearance against Switzerland was the proof and demonstration of his unyielding commitment to his and his nation’s collective dream to bring the World Cup home.
Portugal faces Morocco on Saturday in the quarter-finals, where Ramos may get again the chance to start over Ronaldo, who is also the most capped player for Portugal, and undoubtedly their top-scorer and greatest player.