Cristiano Ronaldo speaks out after storming down the tunnel in tears after Portugal exit | Football

Ronaldo was inconsolable after the 1-0 defeat to Morocco (Picture: Getty)

Cristiano Ronaldo has insisted he will never turn his back on Portugal after leaving the pitch in tears following their World Cup elimination.

Portugal’s campaign in Qatar was brought to a halt after a 1-0 defeat to Morocco in their quarter-final clash with Ronaldo once again left out of the starting XI by Fernando Santos.

While he was brought on for most of the second-half, the 37-year-old failed to inspire a fightback, heading straight down the tunnel following the final whistle.

The 37-year-old looked inconsolable as he was directed towards the dressing room by a member of Portugal’s support staff, covering his face as he broke down in tears.

Portugal’s World Cup was largely overshadowed by gossip surrounding their greatest ever player, who saw his Manchester United contract terminated following an explosive interview with Piers Morgan in which he hit out at the club and said he would ‘never respect’ manager Erik ten Hag.

But in an emotional message shared on Instagram, the 37-year-old says his loyalty has never come into question, suggesting he will continue to play on at international level as long as he can.

‘Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career,’ Ronaldo wrote.

‘Fortunately, I won many titles of international dimension, including for Portugal, but putting the name of our country on the biggest one in the world was my biggest dream.

‘I battled for it. I fought hard for this dream. In the 5 presences that I scored in World Cups over 16 years, always alongside great players and supported by millions of Portuguese people, I gave it my all.

‘I left everything on the pitch. I never gave up the fight or dream.

‘Unfortunately, yesterday the dream ended. It is not worth reacting too hot. 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 never changed for an instant.

‘I was always one more person fighting for everyone’s goal and I would never turn my back on my teammates and my country.”

‘For now, there’s not much more to say. Thank you, Portugal. Thank you, Qatar. The dream was beautiful while it lasted…

‘Now, it’s time to allow history to tell the story and for each one to draw their own conclusions.’

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