Cristiano Ronaldo agreed to end his contract with Manchester United following an inflammatory interview ahead of the January transfer season, and he was benched for Portugal’s final World Cup play.
The Portuguese FA issued a statement following allegations that Cristiano Ronaldo had threatened to leave Portugal’s World Cup squad. Manager Fernando Santos rested the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for their last-16 match against Switzerland earlier this week.
Ronaldo was surprisingly left out of his country’s starting team in their spectacular 6-1 victory over Switzerland. Goncalo Ramos, his replacement, validated Santos’ decision with a spectacular hat-trick.
Ronaldo came on as a late substitute in an attempt to end his World Cup knockout stage goal drought, but his goal was ruled off as Portugal advanced to the quarter-finals. Instead of celebrating with the rest of the team after the game, the 37-year-old went straight down the tunnel.
The Portuguese coach expressed his disgust with Ronaldo’s behavior in the last group stage play against South Korea, which led to his exclusion from the match against Switzerland. In his news conference, the veteran coach addressed the issue and was eager to put an end to it.
“After the contest, I did a quick interview.” I then entered the press conference. “I heard him (Ronaldo) talking with the Korean players,” Santos stated.
“However, when I saw the other photographs, I didn’t like them.” Absolutely not. They irritated me greatly. Everything is now completed. That problem has been resolved. “End of story.”
According to the Portuguese news agency Record, Ronaldo got into a heated argument with Santos and threatened to leave the World Cup entirely, since the 37-year-old striker is dissatisfied with the job he has been assigned at the tournament. The Portuguese superstar is reported to have eventually cooled down and backed down from his threat, albeit the Portuguese FA has already issued a statement disputing the report.
“News leaked on Thursday indicates Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to abandon the national team during a conversation with national coach Fernando Santos,” the Portuguese FA said in a statement. The FPF would like to clarify that national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo never threatened to leave the national team during the tournament in Qatar.
“Cristiano Ronaldo continues to build on his remarkable record of national team service, which should be acknowledged and attests to his indisputable level of commitment to the national team.” The national team – players, coaches, and the FPF structure – are fully devoted and enthusiastic, as they have been since the beginning, to constructing what we think will be Portugal’s best World Cup ever.”
Ronaldo is a free agent and has been linked with a surprise move to Saudi Arabia after being given a €200 million (£180 million) deal to play for Al-Nassr. “No, that’s not true,” the former Manchester United star said when asked if he had accepted the offer.
Following owner Todd Boehly’s interest in the attacker during the summer, the ex-Manchester United player has also been linked with a stunning move to Chelsea. According to recent rumors, he is still waiting for a European team to make an approach, despite the large deal available in Saudi Arabia.
Portugal’s next match is a quarter-final against Morocco on Saturday, December 10. Santos is now torn between sticking with hat-trick hero Ramos and reintroducing Ronaldo into the starting lineup.