(Reuters) – Cristiano Ronaldo said on Sunday that he had always been dedicated to being a part of the Portuguese national team, which was knocked out of the World Cup a day earlier, but he was coy about his future in the national side.
The 37-year-old, a five-times Ballon D’Or winner, had arrived in Qatar with a mission to prove he could still make a difference on his national team. He ended the tournament, however, coming on as a second-half substitute in Portugal’s 1-0 quarter-final loss to Morocco.
“I just want you all to know that much has been said, much has been written, much has been speculated, but my dedication to Portugal has not changed for a moment,” Ronaldo said in a Facebook post.
“I was always one more person fighting for everyone’s goal and I would never turn my back on my teammates and my country.”
Before the World Cup, he had refused to say whether the tournament in Qatar would be his last and said he was already looking ahead to the 2024 European Championship.
His Facebook post on Sunday, however, ended on an ambiguous note.
“For now, there’s not much more to say. Thank you, Portugal. Thank you, Qatar. The dream was beautiful while it lasted… Now, we have to let time be a good adviser and allow everyone to draw their own conclusions,” he wrote.
(Reporting by Tommy Lund in Gdansk; Editing by Hugh Lawson)