Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (center) warms up with teammates during his team training session at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Dec 8, 2022. (FRANCISCO SECO / AP)
DOHA - The Portuguese Football Federation on Thursday published a communique to deny that Cristiano Ronaldo had threatened to leave their squad at the World Cup finals.
The communique came in response to a story published in the Portuguese sports paper 'Record' which wrote that the 37-year-old had said he wanted to leave the World Cup after being dropped from the starting 11 for last-16 game against Switzerland by coach Fernando Santos.
Portugal qualified for the quarterfinals with a 6-1 win with Ronaldo coming on as a late substitute in the game and having a goal ruled out for offside.
Cristiano Ronaldo has played 195 times for his country, scoring 118 goals, and his only goal so far in Qatar came from the penalty spot in Portugal's group match against Ghana
"The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the Selecao, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the stay in Qatar," said the Portuguese Federation.
READ MORE: Portugal boss Santos unhappy at Ronaldo reaction to substitution
"Everyday Ronaldo is building up a unique track record at the service of the national team and the country," continued the note, which insisted "the degree of dedication of the player most capped by Portugal was again demonstrated - if necessary - in the victory against Switzerland, in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup."
Ronaldo has played 195 times for his country, scoring 118 goals. His only goal so far in Qatar came from the penalty spot in Portugal's group match against Ghana.
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He also angered Santos with some gestures after being substituted in a 2-1 defeat to South Korea, also in the group stage. The striker currently needs one goal to equal the Portuguese record of nine goals scored by the legendary Eusebio in World Cups.
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