2022 World Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo coy about Portugal future as World Cup ‘dream’ ends
Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo was coy about his international future as he responded to his side’s World Cup exit following defeat by Morocco.
The 37-year-old forward was in tears as he walked back to the dressing room after the 1-0 quarter-final.
Ronaldo played as a substitute, having also come off the bench in the last-16 win against Switzerland.
“To win a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career,” he wrote on social media.
“Unfortunately, yesterday [Saturday] the dream ended.”
Ronaldo left Manchester United by mutual agreement before the 2022 World Cup after a controversial interview in which the five-time Ballon d’Or winner heavily criticised the club.
He started each of his country’s three group games at the tournament before manager Fernando Santos dropped him to the bench for the win over Switzerland.
Portuguese publication Record claimed Ronaldo threatened to leave the tournament after being told he would not start against Switzerland, but the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and Santos denied that had happened.
“I just want everyone to know that a lot was said, a lot was written, a lot was speculated, but my dedication to Portugal didn’t change for an instant,” Ronaldo added.
“I was always one more player fighting for everyone’s goal and I would never turn my back on my team-mates and my country.
“For now, there’s not much more to say. Thank you, Portugal. Thank you, Qatar. The dream was beautiful while it lasted… Now, we have to let time be a good adviser and allow everyone to draw their own conclusions.”