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Lisbon (AFP) – Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo said that “there is no point in responding in the heat of the moment,” commenting on his country’s elimination from the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar at the hands of Morocco.
Ronaldo stayed in the Qatari capital, Doha, while most of the national team’s players returned home and landed in Lisbon on Sunday afternoon.
Ronaldo wrote on his Instagram account, “Winning the World Cup for Portugal was the biggest dream of my career and the most ambitious. Fortunately, I won several titles with an international dimension, including titles for Portugal.”
Ronaldo entered the Qatari finals due to the criticism leveled at him for what he had said about Manchester United and its Dutch coach, Eric Ten Hag, which led to the abandonment of his services.
His situation witnessed confusion recently when coach Fernando Santos kept him on the bench in Portugal’s last two matches against Switzerland and Morocco and introduced him as a substitute in the second half.
“Let’s hope that time will heal, and that we will allow everyone to come to their own conclusions,” added the five-time World Player of the Year.
Ronaldo attached his comment with a picture of him bowing his head and leaving the stadium after losing 0-1 against Morocco on Saturday.
Portuguese newspapers published news that Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team camp in Doha after keeping him back up, but Santos denied that.
Ronaldo said in this regard, “I just want everyone to know that a lot has been said, a lot has been written, there has been a lot of speculation, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed for a moment.”
“I was always an extra player fighting for everyone’s goals, and I will never turn my back on my team-mates and my country,” he added.
He continued, “In the five World Cups in which I played, always alongside great players and with the support of millions of Portuguese, I gave everything I had. I left everything on the field. I never turned my back on fighting and never gave up on this dream. Unfortunately the dream ended yesterday It was a beautiful dream when it was still there.”
Portugal defender Pepe was asked about his former Real Madrid teammate upon his return Sunday. He said that Ronaldo was “fine. I want to thank him, as well as all my colleagues who gave their best.”
© 2022 AFP