Cristiano Ronaldo makes retirement decision after World Cup heartbreak
Cristiano Ronaldo trains ahead of Switzerland clash
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Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to continue representing Portugal until at least Euro 2024 in spite of his turbulent World Cup campaign with his country in Qatar, according to reports. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored just once in his five appearances at the tournament before Portugal were dumped out in the quarter-finals with a shock defeat at the hands of Morocco on Saturday.
Ronaldo was benched by Portugal manager Fernando Santos for both of his side’s knockout stage games and was visibly upset as he trudged off the pitch against Morocco after managing just ten touches of the ball in the second half of the match. His lack of involvement raised questions over whether he would decide to retire from international duty after the World Cup, but it seems as though Ronaldo is in no mood to give up on his country just yet.
He remains determined to play for Portugal over the next two years and could even represent the Selecao das Quinas at Euro 2024, according to Correio de Manha, at which point he will be 39 years old. Ronaldo is said to be aware that he is a long way off his best form at present but believes that his absence in pre-season and lack of club minutes prior to his Manchester United exit were two factors that contributed heavily to his muted showings at the World Cup.
The former Red Devils man is believed to be adamant that he can still be a valuable asset for Portugal for at least another two years, although it remains to be seen whether he will be able to return to the starting line-up as long as Santos remains in charge. The Portugal boss recently insisted that he does not regret dropping Ronaldo to the bench at the World Cup, which suggests that he will not be afraid to do so again at Euro 2024 if the 37-year-old is still around the squad.
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“I don’t think so, no regrets,” Santos told reporters after Portugal’s premature World Cup exit. “I think this was a team which played very well against Switzerland. Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, he came in when we thought it was necessary, so no regrets.
“If we take two persons that were the most upset it is Cristiano Ronaldo and myself. Of course, we are upset, but that is part of the job of the coach and the player.”
Ronaldo, meanwhile, took to Instagram to vent his frustrations after crashing out of his final World Cup at the hands of Morocco last week. He said: “Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career. 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.
“I fought for it. I fought hard for this dream. In the five times I scored in World Cups over 16 years, always by the side of great players and supported by millions of Portuguese, I gave my all. Leave it all out on the field. I never turned my face to the fight and I never gave up on that dream.
“Sadly yesterday the dream ended. It’s not worth reacting to heat. 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.”
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