Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has asserted that he is tired of addressing speculation over his international future on the back of the upcoming World Cup and claimed that the final decision will always be his choice to make. Portugal face North Macedonia in the final WC qualifier on Tuesday.
Portugal face North Macedonia, in Porto, in the playoff final with the winners advancing to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after North Macedonia achieved a shock upset in the semi-finals of the qualifiers as they secured a 1-0 win over Italy. A Selecao, on the other hand, booked their spot in the finals by claiming a 3-1 victory over Turkey. Euro 2016 winners Portugal have qualified for the last five World Cups while North Macedonia's first major tournament in their 27-year history was last year's Euro 2020.
Ronaldo who has spearheaded his country for the majority of his playing career could be set for his final World Cup if they progress. The Portugal captain spoke to the media in a press conference ahead of the crucial play-off game on Tuesday and addressed speculation that he could retire soon. The 37-year-old attacker, who has scored 115 goals for his nation, dismissed speculation that he could be approaching the end of his international career.
"I'm starting to be asked the same question. The one who is going to decide my future is me, nobody else. If I feel like playing more, I'll play, if I don't feel like playing more, I won't. I'll decide, period. There is no World Cup without Portugal, here there are no individuals, we are a group,” Ronaldo told reporters.
"Tomorrow is a final and we are ready. Favourites?... I always consider myself favourite, whether [playing] at home or away. We already know that if we win, we will go to the World Cup, if we lose, we are out. We have a responsibility to be positive and win the game. The pressure always exists. I feel good, as usual. Another day that I will be ready,” he added.