WHAT HAPPENED?Portugal crashed out of the World Cup with a shock loss to Morocco in the quarter-finals on Saturday. Veteran striker Ronaldo was a second-half substitute but failed to make an impact and Portugal left Qatar with a whimper. The striker has now seemingly confirmed his international retirement following the disappointing exit.
WHAT HE SAID: In an Instagram post Ronaldo 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 5 appearances 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 hasn’t changed 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.
“For now, there’s not much more to say. Thank you, Portugal. Thank you, Qatar. The dream was beautiful while it lasted… Now, it’s time to be a good advisor and allow each one to draw their own conclusions.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Much has been made of Ronaldo in the last three weeks. An explosive interview with Piers Morgan saw his Manchester United career come to an end, leaving him without a club. He was then benched for Portugal’s last two World Cup games against Switzerland and Morocco, appearing as a sub in both of them.
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WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? The Portuguese striker will be looking to get back to club football as quickly as possible. It is unclear where he will be playing next, but rumours are he will remain in the Middle East with Al-Nassr.