Cristiano Ronaldo was spotted working out with his Portugal teammates after landing in Lisbon ahead of their Euro 2024 qualifiers.
On Monday night, Ronaldo was seen working out with his international teammates during a stretching session and some light cycling fitness.
On his Instagram page, he captioned the images: “Very happy to return to our national team and be able to represent Portugal again!.”
Portugal will compete against both Liechtenstein and Luxembourg later this month as part of their journey to the European Championships.
Notwithstanding the uncertainties surrounding his international career, Ronaldo has been chosen to represent Portugal in the forthcoming matches.
Once Portugal’s World Cup voyage ended in failure, many believed Ronaldo would retire from playing for his country.
Portugal’s 1-0 loss to Morocco in the World Cup quarterfinal in Qatar saw Ronaldo exit what is anticipated to be his final World Cup.
When Youssef En-Nesyri’s goal put Portugal behind 1-0 in the second half, Ronaldo stepped off the bench to replace Ruben Neves. Yet he was unable to spur a comeback.
During a run of missed Portugal chances, Cristiano Ronaldo also wasted a late opportunity by sending a right-footed shot into goalkeeper Yassine Bounou’s palms.
Following the game, Ronaldo appeared to be unhappy. The Portuguese skipper was seen leaving the scene in tears, and many people assumed that his impending retirement was the cause of the emotion.
After the match, Cristiano Ronaldo posted on social media to assure fans that he was still “dedicated” to defending his nation.
He stated: “Winning a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career. Fortunately I won many titles of international dimension, including Portugal, but putting our country’s name on the highest foot in the World was my biggest dream.”
“I fought for it. I fought hard for this dream. In the five appearances I scored in World Cups over 16 years, always by the side of great players and supported by millions of Portuguese, I gave my all. Leave it all out on the field. I never turned my face to the fight and I never gave up on that dream.”
“Sadly [on Saturday] the dream ended. It’s not worth reacting to heat. 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 hasn’t changed for a moment.”
“I was always one fighting for the objective of all and I would never turn my back on my colleagues 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 be a good advisor and allow each one to draw their own conclusions.”
He did not, however, comment on Fernando Santos’ resignation as Portugal’s manager after their humiliating World Cup loss at the hands of Morocco.
Following their 1-0 loss to the African team, Santos was fired, ending a lengthy spell with the national team.
As Santos decided to bench Ronaldo for the quarterfinal matches against Switzerland and Morocco, their friendship soured.
When Ronaldo’s partner Georgina Rodriguez blasted Santos for making “the wrong decision” by benching him, it only added fuel to the fire.
On Instagram, she wrote: ‘Today your friend and coach decided wrong. That friend for whom you have so many words of admiration and respect.’
‘The same one who, by getting you into the game, saw how everything changed, but it was too late. You cannot underestimate the best player in the world, his most powerful weapon.’
‘Nor can you stick up for someone who doesn’t deserve it. Life teaches us lessons. Today we have not lost, we have learned.’
Martinez’s first matches as manager will therefore be Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifying matches.