FIFA World Cup 2018: Cristiano Ronaldo to retire from international football? Here’s what Portugal coach said3 min read

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who was in red-hot form in the first few matches of FIFA World Cup 2018, disappointed his fans as he failed to score in the team's last two matches in the quadrennial event. Portugal coach Fernando Santos made a statement on the legendary footballer's international future.

Cristiano Ronaldo to retire

In just a matter of two hours in Russia, the two Greatest Of All Time (G.O.A.T) contenders departed from the FIFA World Cup 2018 on Saturday evening (June 30). After Lionel Messi’s hope of World Cup glory was snatched away by a Kylian Mbappe-inspired France, Cristiano Ronaldo found himself under the same cloud when Edinson Cavani made the difference against Portugal.

The question is now whether the two will feature in the next World Cup when the trophy goes to Qatar in 2022. While both stayed tightlipped after their respective matches, Portugal coach Fernando Santos revealed his answer for Ronaldo.

This was probably Ronaldo’s last appearance in World Cup finals for he will turn 37 in 2022. When he was asked about the same, Ronaldo reckoned that it was too early for him to decide on his international future. When Santos was asked to comment on Ronaldo’s international future, he said that the maverick striker still had a lot to offer.

“Certainly, yes, Cristiano still has a lot to give to football. There is a tournament in September, the UEFA (Nations League) and we hope he will be with us to help the younger ones to grow,” Santos told reporters. “We have a team with many young players and of course we all want him there with us.”

Santos revealed that Portugal was well prepared to take on Uruguay in the second Round of 16 matches in the FIFA World Cup 2018, but reckoned that the Uruguayan strikers were at their best on the night to outplay the European champions.

“We know that in Portugal, the squares are full, the people are together and rooting for us and we feel their presence here, so a word to the Portuguese people – we are very sad that we weren’t able to make it,” he told reporters.

“There was a cross to the left, then a cross to the right – there is no scheme against that. Their strikers were very strong; one was there, the other one came from behind. That was an incredible play, they have never scored like that before.”

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