Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, retirement, Portugal, Brazil, Gareth Southgate, news,

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Cristiano Ronaldo said “there’s no point in reacting in the heat of the moment,” as he responded to Portugal’s World Cup elimination, as doubt continues to swirl over his international future.

Meanwhile, Neymar says he is ‘psychologically destroyed’ by Brazil’s World Cup failure, but Brazil great Pele urged him not to retire from the team.

That and more in today’s World Cup Daily!

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Ronaldo stayed in Qatar as many of the Portugal squad returned home and landed in Lisbon on Sunday afternoon.

“To win a World Cup for Portugal was the biggest and most ambitious dream of my career. Fortunately, I won many titles of international dimension, including for Portugal,” Ronaldo wrote on Instagram.

His post did not talk about international retirement but he started Portugal’s last two matches in Qatar on the bench, a decision which provoked debate in Portugal and across the football world.

“Let’s hope that time will be a good counsellor and allow everyone to draw their own conclusions,” he wrote.


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The Instagram post was accompanied by a photo showing Ronaldo, head down, trudging off the field in Doha after the 1-0 quarter-final loss to Morocco on Saturday.

At 37, Ronaldo was playing his fifth World Cup. As soon as the final whistle blew he headed down the tunnel with tears streaming down his face.

Ronaldo is without a club after a bitter divorce with Manchester United. According to the Portuguese press, Ronaldo threatened to leave the squad after he was dropped from the starting line-up, but that was denied by coach Fernando Santos, who will soon meet with the Portuguese Football Association to discuss his own future.

“I just want everyone to know that a lot was said, a lot was written, a lot was speculated, but my dedication to Portugal didn’t change for an instant,” Ronaldo added.

“I was always one more player fighting for everyone’s goal and I would never turn my back on my teammates and my country.” “In the five World Cups I played, always alongside great players and supported by millions of Portuguese, I gave it my all. I left everything on the field. I never turned my back on the fight and I never gave up on this dream.

“Unfortunately, yesterday the dream ended. The dream was beautiful while it lasted.”

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Neymar said he was “psychologically destroyed” by Brazil’s elimination from the World Cup in a penalty shootout defeat to Croatia and admitted it hurt more than any other loss in his career.

The 30-year-old scored a superb individual effort to equal Pele’s record goalscoring haul of 77 goals for the Selecao in Friday’s match that finished 1-1 after extra time.

But he never got to take a spot kick in the shootout that Croatia won 4-2 to move into the semi-finals.

Pre-tournament favourites Brazil must now wait at least another four years to win their sixth World Cup — their last dates back to 2002.

“I am psychologically destroyed. It is definitely the defeat which has hurt me the most, which left me paralysed for ten minutes after the match, after which I burst into tears without being able to stop,” Neymar said in an Instagram message.

“It is going to hurt for a very long time, unfortunately,” he added. Neymar said immediately after Brazil crashed out that he might have played his last match for his country — but Pele urged him to “keep inspiring us”.

“Your legacy is far from over,” he added. “Keep inspiring us. I will continue punching the air with happiness with every goal you score, as I have done in every game I’ve seen you on the pitch.”

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England midfielder Declan Rice said Gareth Southgate should remain as manager despite their agonising 2-1 defeat in the World Cup quarter-finals at the hands of France on Saturday.

Aurelien Tchouameni gave defending champions France an early lead at Al Bayt Stadium but Harry Kane equalised from the penalty spot in the 54th minute.

England were the better side for long stretches of the game but Olivier Giroud headed home in the 78th minute to restore France’s lead.

Kane then blazed his second penalty of the game over the bar as England’s wait to win a first major international trophy since the 1966 World Cup goes on.

West Ham’s Rice said the result was tough to take, adding that he believed the better team lost.

“We’ve come some so far. That’s credit to the manager, the spirit he has brought to this team, the togetherness that we’ve got,” he said.

“We weren’t overconfident. We were confident enough that we really could win this tournament and that’s the mentality England have not had over the years and I think you see that in our performance tonight.”

England reached the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup and were beaten finalists at last year’s European Championship.

“I think sometimes the negativity around England will go away once we’ve won something again,” said Rice.

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