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FIFA World Cup 2018: Cristiano Ronaldo clears the air regarding claims about his international retirement
- Updated: July 2, 2018
Cristiano Ronaldo has shot down questions regarding his retirement from international football, despite packing his bags after a defeat to Uruguay in the Round of 16.
Portugal succumbed to a double strike from Edinson Cavani as the Uruguayan talisman led the South American to a 2-1 victory. Going along the trend of star players retiring from their national teams due to debacles in their respective World Cup campaigns, the whole of the football fraternity had a keen eye on the future of Ronaldo at the international stage.
With the Portugues star having turned 33, many felt that his chances of playing at the next World Cup in Qatar are slim. The current Ballon d’Or holder had led his country to the knockout stages nearly single-handedly, netting four of their five goals in the group stage.
According to the forward, retirement is a broader concept than just a decision and quipped that he would talk about it in the coming weeks.
“It’s not the time to talk about the future, when it comes to the players and coach,” stated Ronaldo. “This team will continue to be one of the best in the world, with quality players, a young group, united. I am confident and happy because this team will always fight with all their strength.”
Ronaldo struggled to knock the Uruguayan back line off their perch, which was one of the main reasons for their defeat. Despite bossing possession, the Portuguese couldn’t produce enough in the final third or take care of the chances that they did produce.
“I am convinced that he has a lot to give in football,” said Fernando Santos. “There is a tournament in September, the UEFA League of Nations, and we hope that he is with us so that he can help the young players who will need their captain’s example. We have a team with many young players in it and of course we all want him there with us.”
Despite the chance of retirement and his side’s loss in the pre-quarterfinal, the 154-capped forward is optimistic about his team’s future. “There is a fantastic group with enormous ambition that wants to succeed and I am very confident that the national team will continue to be at the highest level,” he exclaimed.