(CNN) — The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) denied on Thursday that star striker Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the team during the Qatar 2022 World Cup after being named as a substitute against Switzerland earlier this week.
The 37-year-old striker was not included in the starting eleven for Tuesday’s round of 16 clash.
Ronaldo’s replacement, Benfica striker Gonçalo Ramos, stepped up by scoring a sublime hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-1 win over Switzerland.
Portuguese publication Record reported on Thursday that the striker had previously threatened to leave the team after a conversation with manager Fernando Santos.
“The FPF clarifies that at no time did the captain of the team, Cristiano Ronaldo, threaten to leave the team during his stay in Qatar,” the statement read.
“Cristiano Ronaldo builds every day a unique career of service to the team and the country, which must be respected and which speaks of the unquestionable degree of commitment to the team.”
Portugal faces Morocco on Saturday in the quarterfinals as they look to book a place in the semifinal for the first time since 2006.