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Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister makes bold claim as Portuguese FA issue statement

The 37-year-old was left on the bench for his country’s 6-1 last-16 win over Switzerland by boss Fernando Santos.

Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after the FIFA World Cup Round of Sixteen match at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. Picture date: Tuesday December 6, 2022.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Cristiano Ronaldo’s sister has suggested she wants her brother to leave the Portugal squad at the World Cup after he was dropped for their last-16-tie against Switzerland.

The 37-year-old was left on the bench for his country’s 6-1 last-16 win over Switzerland by boss Fernando Santos, having reacted poorly to being substituted in the final group game against South Korea.

He came on as a second-half substitute, but it was the first time since Euro 2008 that the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward was left out of a starting line-up at a major tournament since Euro 2008 and he held summit talks with Santos on Wednesday.

Now his sister Elma has posted an emotional message on Instagram suggesting she wanted Ronaldo to leave the Portugal camp after his ‘humiliation’.

"Portugal won. Thank God. New talents shone. Amazing. Are we going to win this? I believe so!!,” she wrote.

“On the field they shouted for Ronaldo. It wasn't because Portugal was winning… And I'm not saying this. The world watched... Why is it???

“I'm glad Portugal won... (I've seen Portugal win so many times) And even this doesn't invalidate the smallness of a large part of the Portuguese people. And this is what is not right, because they continue to curse, they continue to insist on offence and ingratitude.

“Too sad with what I read and hear not here in Qatar but in my country in his country… But really sad. AND I WANTED IT SO MUCH.

“I really wanted him to come home, leave the national team and sit next to us so we could hug him and say that everything is fine, remind him of what he conquered and what home he came from.

“I really wanted him not to go there anymore, we have suffered enough (they will never know how big) you are and the little ones don't realise how huge you are.

"Come to your house. Which is where they understand you, where they embrace you. As always was. Where do you have all the gratitude. And not ingratitude.

“Thank you Ronaldo. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I really wanted to… But whatever you decide, we are with you. Until death. Thanks.”

Meanwhile, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) has quashed reports Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to walk out on Portugal’s World Cup campaign.

Reports circulated on Thursday that during those discussions Ronaldo, who also acted petulantly during his final few weeks as a United player before the club terminated his contract, warned he would turn his back on his country and leave Qatar ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final with Morocco.

But the FPF has quickly shut down speculation and insisted Ronaldo has an “unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team”.

A statement read: “News released this Thursday reports that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the national team during a conversation with Fernando Santos, national coach.

“The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the national team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the national team during the internship in Qatar.

“Cristiano Ronaldo builds up a unique track record every day at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.

“Incidentally, the degree of dedication of the player most capped by Portugal was again demonstrated – if necessary – in the victory against Switzerland, in the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup.

“The national team – players, coaches and FPF structure – is, as it has been since the first day, fully committed and enthusiastic in building what the country wants to be Portugal’s best ever participation in a World Cup.”

Ronaldo posted his comments on social media, in which he stressed how unified the squad were.

“A group too united to be broken by external forces. A nation too brave to be intimidated by any adversary,” he wrote.

“A team in the true sense of the word, that will fight for the dream until the end! Take a leap of faith with us! Come on, Portugal!”

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