Doha, Dec 8 (EFE).- The Portuguese football federation on Thursday denied reports that captain Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the squad competing at the World Cup in Qatar after being told he was to be dropped from the starting lineup for their Round of 16 match against Switzerland earlier this week.
A newspaper report in Portugal said Ronaldo had threatened to quit the national team after confronting manager Fernando Santos over his decision to start 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos over the 37-year-old five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“The FPF (Portuguese Football Federation) clarifies that at no time did the captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the training camp in Qatar,” the FPF said in a statement on its website.
Ronaldo also denied the rumors, posting a statement on Instagram in which he said the Portuguese national team was “too united to be broken by outside forces.”
“A team in the true sense of the word, which will fight for the dream until the end! Believe in us! Go Portugal!,” he added.
Santos’ decision to drop Ronaldo paid immediate dividends, as Ramos scored a hattrick and made one assist on his first international start as Portugal hammered the Swiss 6-1. EFE