The Football Federation of Portugal (FPF) on Thursday refuted media claims that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to abandon the national team during the World Cup after coach Fernando Santos benched him for their round of 16 victory against Switzerland.
Ronaldo, Portugal’s most capped player and all-time leading scorer, was rested for their first knockout game against Switzerland on Tuesday, which they won 6-1, with his replacement Goncalo Ramos scoring a hat-trick. Ronaldo did make an appearance in the match when he was brought in as a late substitute.
“The Football Federation of Portugal (FPF) clarifies that at no time did the captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team at any stage in Qatar,” said the federation as quoted by ESPN.
“The level of commitment of Portugal’s most capped international player was once again demonstrated … in the victory against Switzerland,” added FPF.
Ronaldo has struggled to find the net since scoring from the penalty spot in Portugal’s group opener against Ghana when he became the first player to score in five World Cups.
Portugal are slated to face Morocco in the quarterfinals for a place in the last four of the FIFA World Cup on Saturday.
The European side had finished on the top of the table of Group H with six points under their belt. However, it suffered a 0-2 defeat against Uruguay in its final group-stage match.
South Korea were the other team from the group to advance from group H. (ANI)