Cristiano Ronaldo issues statement amid reports of World Cup departure

Fernando Santos’ decision to bench the Portuguese superstar has dominated the headlines in recent days.

Cristiano Ronaldo has shut down reports about his intention to leave Portugal’s World Cup camp.

The 37-year-old started on the bench for Portugal in their 6-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday. 

Reports then emerged of Ronaldo threatening to leave the national team’s camp after Fernando Santos’ lineup decision.

As Portugal prepare for their upcoming quarter-final against Morocco, Ronaldo has backed his side to remain united in their quest to win the country’s first-ever World Cup title.

“A group too close to be broken by outside forces,” the forward wrote on Twitter alongside an image of his team-mates celebrating a goal against Switzerland. 

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“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!”

Earlier today, Portugal’s Football Federation (FPF) reacted to rumours about Ronaldo’s dispute with Santos.

“The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the Selecao, Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the stay in Qatar,” the statement reads.

“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.”