“Ronaldo is fine”- Pepe confirms after Portugal exit

“Ronaldo is fine”- Pepe confirms after Portugal exit

Pepe described Cristiano Ronaldo’s emotional reaction to Portugal’s shocking loss to Morocco in the World Cup quarterfinals on Saturday as “fine.”

After Ronaldo’s irate reaction to being replaced against South Korea in the final group game, head coach Fernando Santos benched him for the second consecutive game.

Despite Ronaldo’s introduction shortly after halftime, Portugal was unable to find an equalizer and were eliminated from the tournament after Morocco took the lead with a towering header from Youssef En-Nesyri.

Ronaldo experienced a difficult reaction to the defeat, crying as he left the field. On Sunday, he posted on social media that he had given up on Portugal’s “most ambitious dream” of winning the World Cup.

Although Ronaldo postponed making a decision regarding his future with the national team, Pepe believes the forward deserves recognition for his efforts while wearing the Portugal jersey.

“Ronaldo is fine,” Pepe told reporters after arriving back in Lisbon.

“He’s our Portuguese flag. He reaches all parts of the world.”He gave us his contribution when he was called. We have to thank him and all his team-mates who did their best to be available for the coach”

Fernando Santos, the head coach of Portugal, has a contract that lasts until 2024, but after this World Cup defeat, there are rumors that he may resign.

Asked about Santos’ future, Pepe explained: “I’m a player, I don’t have to talk about it. I’m not going to go down that path.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t achieve the goal we wanted. We tried to give everything to honour our country.

“It’s football. There are these things. We have to learn from what happened so that the future is better for us.”

Portugal’s next match is against Liechtenstein in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier on March 23.

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