Cristiano Ronaldo Claims He Would Never Turn His Back On Portugal

Ernesto Cova
Cristiano Ronaldo
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Morocco shocked the world by beating Portugal in the quarterfinals of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. They became the first Arab country to reach the semifinals, leaving the likes of Belgium and Spain also in the way.

Notably, that game against Portugal may have been the last in Cristiano Ronaldo's career, at least when it comes to the World Cup. So, it wasn't shocking to see the legendary striker leaving the pitch in tears.

It Was His Biggest Dream

Ronaldo took some time to process his emotions before sharing his thoughts on social media. He expressed his sadness after failing to lead his country to the ultimate glory, knowing he's not likely to make it to the next World Cup:

"Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career," he wrote on Instagram. "Fortunately I won many titles of international dimension, including Portugal, but putting our country's name on the highest foot in the World was my biggest dream."

He Never Wanted To Leave

Some reports speculated that Cristiano was livid for not being a starter in Portugal's knockout stage matches, up to the point where he even asked to leave. Needless to say, he needed to address those rumors right away:

"Sadly yesterday (Friday) the dream ended. It's not worth reacting in the heat of the moment. I just want you all to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed not for a moment. I was always one fighting for the objective of all and I would never turn my back on my colleagues and my country."

Ronaldo Wasn't Happy

Cristiano Ronaldo
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Portugal coach Fernando Santos acknowledged that Cristiano wasn't happy about being a substitute. However, he affirmed that the former Real Madrid star never threatened to leave or anything like that, and he was always supportive of his teammates:

"I told him that he was not going to start in the Round of 16. He was not happy with the conversation, as is normal," Santos told the media. "But it was a normal conversation where everyone showed their point of view. When a player is captain of Portugal and starts on the bench, it's normal for him not to be happy. When I told him that I wasn't going to play as a starter, he asked me if it was a good idea. Of course, he wasn't happy. But I assure you that he never wanted to leave."

He's Still Got Plenty Left In The Tank

Cristiano will be 41 by the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and there's no guarantee that Portugal will even make it to the tournament. So, clearly, this meant more than ever for the Portuguese legend.

However, he's still in top physical shape and has shown no indications of any desire to retire or walk away from the game any time soon. So, who knows? If someone can stay fit for the next four years and beat the odds again, that's Cristiano.