Cristiano Ronaldo has conceded that his World Cup dream has come to an end. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner took to Instagram following Portugal’s World Cup quarterfinal defeat to Morocco on Saturday.
The Portuguese lost 1-0 to their underdog opponent at Qatar 2022, with Ronaldo starting on the bench before failing to make an impact in the second half as Morocco became the first African or Arab nation to reach the World Cup semifinals.
Ronaldo was seen leaving the pitch in tears. At age 37, he appears to have accepted that the ongoing edition of the FIFA showpiece tournament could be his last.
“Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career. Fortunately, I won many titles of an international dimension, including for Portugal, but putting the name of our country on the highest level in the world was my biggest dream,” he wrote on Instagram on Sunday afternoon.
“I fought for it. I fought hard for this dream. In the five occasions that I scored in World Cups over 16 years, [it was] always alongside great players and supported by millions of Portuguese people.
“I gave my all. I left everything on the field. I never turned my face away from the fight and I never gave up on that dream.”
Ronaldo added that “unfortunately, yesterday the dream ended,” but that it is not worth reacting with a hot head to the result.
“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 not 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,” he vowed.
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 be a good advisor and allow everyone to draw their own conclusions,” Ronaldo concluded.
Currently without a club, Ronaldo has not indicated that he will retire from international football altogether and may still have plans to feature at the Euros in Germany in 2024.