'There is no World Cup without Portugal' - Ronaldo responds to question about Man Utd star not being at Qatar 2022 tournament

Cyriacus Anaeto
31st Mar, 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo issued a cutting response when quizzed on the possibility of not being at Qatar 2022, with the Manchester United star insisting that "there is no World Cup without Portugal".

Portugal produced a disappointing showing in their World Cup qualifying group as they finished second behind Serbia, dropping into the European play-offs as a result.

Fernando Santos' side earned a 3-1 win over Turkey in their semi-final last Thursday and are now heavy favourites to beat North Macedonia in the final of their qualifying section, with Ronaldo confident they will avoid an upset.

What's been said?

The 37-year-old has dismissed the suggestion that he might not be present when the tournament kicks off in Qatar in November, telling reporters: “There is no World Cup without Portugal. There are no individualities here.”

North Macedonia shocked Euro 2020 winners Italy to reach the final of the play-offs, but Ronaldo has no doubt that Portugal will succeed where the Azzurri failed after a strong few days of preparation.

“We were surprised,” The United striker said of Italy's defeat. “North Macedonia has surprised in many matches. But I don’t think they will surprise us tomorrow. Portugal will play better and we will make it to the World Cup.

“We know that if we win we will go to the World Cup and if we lose we are out.

"We have the responsibility to be positive and win the match. I see everyone well prepared and wanting to be at their best tomorrow.”

Ronaldo snaps at retirement question

Ronaldo was also asked if the 2022 World Cup will be his last if Portugal do manage to qualify, which would be his 10th major tournament appearance in a row.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who is the highest-scoring player in the history of men's international football with 115 goals to his name, says he is tired of the constant speculation over his future and won't be rushing such an important career decision.

"I'm starting to be asked the same question. The one who is going to decide my future is me, nobody else," Ronaldo replied.

"If I feel like playing more, I'll play, if I don't feel like playing more, I won't. I'll decide, period."