Cristiano Ronaldo speaks for first time since shock World Cup exit



CNN

A day after leaving the 2022 World Cup in tears as his chances of winning the tournament for the first time in his career were dashed, Portugal superstar striker Cristiano Ronaldo said bringing a World Cup title to Portugal was “the biggest and most ambitious dream” his career but “the dream was beautiful while it lasted.”

Portugal were shocked 1-0 by Morocco in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

“To win a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram on Sunday.

“Fortunately, I won a lot of titles of international dimension, including Portugal, but to put the name of our country at the highest level in the world was my biggest dream.

“I fought for it. I fought a lot for this dream. In the 5 times I was present in World Cups over 16 years, always next to great players and supported by millions of Portuguese, I gave everything. I Left everything on the field. I never gave up the fight and I never gave up on the dream.”

It is likely the 37-year-old’s final appearance in a World Cup. He started Portugal’s round of 16 and quarter-final games as a substitute after being benched by the team’s coach Fernando Santos.

Ronaldo was benched for two consecutive games.

Ronaldo continued: “Unfortunately, yesterday the dream ended. There is no point in reacting hot headed. I just want everyone to know that a lot has been said, a lot written, a lot speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed even for a second. I was always just one [person] Fighting for everyone’s cause and I would never turn my back against my friends and my country.

Brazilian soccer great Pele and Ronaldo’s two sisters were among many who commented on his post.

Pele wrote, “Thank you for making us smile, my friend.”

Ronaldo’s sister, Alma Aveiro, said, “Absolutely my love, you gave your heart to Portugal.”

His other sister, Katia Aveiro, added one word: “Proud!”

In his 22 World Cup appearances, Ronaldo has scored eight goals and earlier in this year’s tournament he became the first man to score in five World Cups.

However, his benching by Santos and his recent contract deal from Manchester United, which was announced just after the start of the World Cup, arguably overshadowed Ronaldo’s time at Qatar 2022, a tournament where he scored just one goal.

“For now, there’s not much else to say,” he added. “Thank you, Portugal. Thank you, Qatar. The dream was beautiful while it lasted… Now, we wait for what time will tell and let everyone draw their own conclusions.



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Also Read :  Gianni Infantino: FIFA to launch new 32-team men's Club World Cup and will 'rediscuss' 2026 World Cup group stage format | Football News

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