The star recently suffered a painful World Cup exit with his country
Cristiano Ronaldo is determined to continue his career with the Portuguese national team, according to a report in his homeland.
Ronaldo was left in tears after Portugal’s World Cup quarterfinal exit against Morocco at the weekend, amid questions about what the failed campaign in Qatar means for his future.
But Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manha reported on Tuesday that the 37-year-old “believes he can continue to be useful to the national team and so will not give up playing for Portugal.”
The report added that Ronaldo hopes to prolong his record-breaking international career even if current Portugal manager Fernando Santos remains in charge.
Ronaldo and Santos were widely seen as having a strong relationship before it was stretched to the limit in Qatar, where the Portuguese coach dropped his captain to the bench for the knockout-stage games against Switzerland and Morocco.
Ronaldo scored just once at the tournament – a penalty in the opening 3-2 victory against Ghana.
After being seen in floods of tears following the shock 1-0 quarterfinal exit to Morocco on Saturday, Ronaldo later issued a social media post acknowledging that his “dream” of World Cup glory had ended.
“I just want everyone to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed for an instant,” wrote the forward.
“I was always one more person fighting for everyone’s goal and I would never turn my back on my teammates and my country.”
Ronaldo later issued a post on Instagram stories featuring the message: “Three aspects of reality: Pain, uncertainty, and constant work.”
Reports emerged during the World Cup that Ronaldo had threatened to quit the Portugal camp when he was dropped for the last-16 clash with Switzerland. The claims were promptly denied by Portuguese football officials and Ronaldo himself.
According to Tuesday’s report in Correio da Manha, Ronaldo “is aware that he is not in his best form, but knows that the fact that he has not done pre-season at Manchester United and has not played regularly for the starting line-up has affected him in recent months.”
Ronaldo is currently without a club after splitting with English giants Manchester United in acrimonious circumstances on the eve of the World Cup.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has received a mammoth offer from Saudi club Al Nassr, but is said to be intent on staying at the top level in Europe and playing in the Champions League.
In international football terms, Ronaldo is the all-time top scorer in the men’s game, with 118 goals in 196 appearances for his country.
He tasted glory with Portugal at the 2016 European Championships in France, later winning the UEFA Nations League title.
While Ronaldo’s future remains unclear, the same could be said of Portugal manager Santos following the disappointing exit in Qatar.
Santos, 68, has been in charge since 2014 but there are suggestions that Portuguese football officials will make a change ahead of the campaign to qualify for the 2024 European Championships.
That could also have a bearing on Ronaldo’s international future, depending on relations with Santos or the man who replaces him, should that happen.
December 13, 2022 at 07:13PM