Rashford pays tribute to Ronaldo after Man Utd exit
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Portugal have denied suggestions Cristiano Ronaldo considered quitting the World Cup after he was benched for his side’s 6-1 win over Switzerland on Tuesday night. The 37-year-old was demoted by Fernando Santos, with Goncalo Ramos getting the nod up top. And the Benfica star made the most of his opportunity, bagging a sensational hat-trick to fire his side through to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Portugal were too strong for Switzerland in Tuesday’s World Cup clash, with Ramos the star of the show as they fired themselves through to quarter-final clash with Morocco.
But Ronaldo, as ever, was the centre of attention.
The veteran was benched for the match having struggled for form so this winter, with his penalty against Ghana on matchday one still the only goal he’s scored at the finals so far.
It was claimed earlier today that the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Sporting Lisbon star had considered quitting the tournament altogether after being left on the bench.
But the Portuguese FA have now denied this, saying in a statement: “Reports claiming Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos are not true.
“FPF clarifies that at no time did Cristiano threaten to leave the national team in Qatar.”
Ronaldo did his part as Portugal beat Switzerland, cheering his team-mates on from the sidelines and joining in the celebrations as the goals went flying in.
But it looked more and more as though the 37-year-old is no longer the player he was and is now declining at an alarming rate.
With Ramos scoring a hat-trick, the Benfica star is expected to keep his place in Santos’ starting XI when they lock horns with Morocco in the last eight on Saturday.
And it’ll be interesting to see how Ronaldo responds to a second snub in a row.
The veteran has insisted he wants to continue playing after the competition, with the veteran currently a free agent following his release from United last month.
And though Ronaldo has played down talk of a move to Saudi Arabia, Al-Nassr appear to be frontrunners in the race to secure his signature.
Speaking after Portugal’s win over Switzerland, Santos admitted he was yet to decide on his talisman’s role for the rest of the tournament.
“That is still something which has to be defined,” he said when asked about the 37-year-old’s role.
“I have a very close relationship with him, I always have.
“I’ve known him since he was 19 at Sporting and then he started to develop in the national squad when I arrived in 2014.
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