Cristiano Ronaldo has broken his silence after storming off before the final whistle during Portugal's FIFA World Cup qualifying draw against Serbia over the weekend.
After opening their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign with a win over Azerbaijan earlier in the week, reigning European champions Portugal squandered a two-goal lead against Group A rivals Serbia after playing out a 2-2 draw at the Rajko Mitić Stadium in Belgrade on Saturday.
The match was shrouded in controversy, however, as Selecao captain Ronaldo appeared to have netted a late, match-winning goal only to be denied by the linesman, who deemed the ball not to have crossed the goal line entirely.
With the no Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) or goal-line technology in place for the match, Portugal were denied the goal despite replays appearing to show that Ronaldo's effort should have stood, and the 36-year-old showed his frustration towards the end of the match.
Before the final whistle had blown, Ronaldo was seen remonstrating on the side of the pitch before tossing his captain's armband on to the floor and storming off the field of play, and he has since broken his silence on the incident.
"Being captain of the Portugal national team is one of the greatest honours and privileges of my life," the five-time Ballon d'Or winner shared on social media. "I give and will always give my all for my country, that will never change.
"But there are difficult moments to cope with, especially when we feel like an entire nation is being harmed. Head up and face the next challenge! Come on Portugal!"