Cristiano Ronaldo speaks out after reports he wanted to WALK OUT on the World Cup, hailing Portugal as ‘a group too close to be broken by outside forces’
- Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken out after reports he wanted to quit the World Cup
- Portuguese media claimed he was ready to pack his bags after being dropped
- Portugal denied the reports, asking for respect of their veteran forward
- Ronaldo had his say, insists the squad ‘won’t be broken by outside forces’
Cristiano Ronaldo has ranted on social media after speculation that he wanted to leave Portugal’s World Cup camp – insisting the squad are ‘too strong to be broken by outside forces’.
The forward has dominated much of Portugal’s World Cup camp amid his bitter exit from Manchester United before getting into hot water with his national team over attitude and performance issues.
He has scored just once in Qatar and irked his manager Fernando Santos by sulking after being withdrawn in their 2-1 loss to South Korea. And when he was dropped by his coach for their last-16 clash against Switzerland – which they won 6-1 – he is said to have threatened to fly home.
But Portugal later hit out at the rumours, saying Ronaldo ‘builds up a unique track record every day at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.’
Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted Portugal are ‘too strong to be broken by outside forces’ after reports he wanted to leave their camp
The forward hailed the ‘bravery’ and strength of the squad amid ongoing speculation
Now the 37-year-old has broken his silence since the reports emerged, insisting Portugal were too ‘close’ and ‘brave’ to be affected by outside noise.
In a tweet, the forward wrote: ‘A group too close to be broken by outside forces. A nation too brave to let itself be frightened by any adversary.
‘A team in the truest sense of the word, which will fight for the dream until the end! Believe with us! Strength, Portugal!’
Ronaldo has sought to ease tensions between himself and Santos after the coach expressed his fury at the player for his behaviour when coming off against South Korea.
Ronaldo and manager Fernando Santos have a tense relationship in Qatar and reportedly held tense talks where the ex-Man United star threatened to fly home
Santos said he ‘did not like it at all’, adding: ‘If I see the images, yes, I didn’t like it, not at all. I really didn’t like it,’ Santos said of Ronaldo’s reaction to going off against South Korea.
‘Everything is finished, full stop, regarding that issue and now we have to think about the match and everyone is focused on the match.
‘I only decide who is going to be the captain when I reach the stadium so I don’t know the line-up.
‘That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m always going to do. It’s going to be the same with this match.’
Ronaldo has endured a difficult time in Qatar – scoring just once and being plagued with a series of off-the-pitch problems
Ronaldo then added to the row by walking off alone after Portugal’s win over Switzerland – while the rest of his team-mates were celebrating the romp – before he posted on Twitter hailing the team’s display and praising the selection of his manager.
‘Amazing day for Portugal, with a historic result in the biggest event in world football,’ he wrote.
‘Luxury display of a team full of talent and youth. Our Selection is to be congratulated. The dream is alive! To the end! Go ahead, Portugal!’
It continues a turbulent season for Ronaldo after being frozen out by Manchester United and then released from his contract having refused to come on during a game against Tottenham and then walking out of the stadium before full time.
He then gave an explosive tell-all interview to Piers Morgan where he accused United of ‘betraying’ him and that he did not respect manager Erik ten Hag – which proved the final straw before he left the Red Devils.
The negativity has followed him to Portugal for the World Cup, however, with the constant publicity around him impacting on his team-mates and their performances as they were beaten in their final group game against South Korea.
After Ronaldo’s sulking when he was subbed off in that game – Santos went with Goncalo Ramos for the last-16 game against Switzerland and his decision was fully justified as the youngster netted a hat-trick in the thrashing.
And now, a survey of Portugal fans found that a staggering 93.6 per cent want Ramos to start again in their quarter-final tie with Morocco instead of Ronaldo.