Coach Paulo Bento called you 'deserter' when you left the training camp in Portugal and announced you were quitting the team. Got something to say?
If he used military language and using the same kind of language, I might call him mercenary.
Please explain ...
When you go to war for money, when you are not in the national team for love or passion for your country, you are a mercenary. I am in the national team for love and passion for my country, but he is coach because the Portuguese Federation pays him well. It bothered me and I do not think he has to treat me in that way.
Why did you leave the hotel without telling anyone?
It was not a premeditated decision. I decided when I came back to the hotel after workout and I felt that I had not been respected. Upon reaching the room, without change clothes, grabbed my backpack and car. My biggest mistake was not speaking to anyone, with the leaders of the Federation. It did not pass through my mind. But I was upset. It was not something premeditated.
What happened to take a decision of this importance?
I thought that it did not make sense at that time be in the national tam. It was an injustice because I was training well and a teammate, who had not been trained, came and the coach moved him to work with the starters. And I had to stay to one side ...
Are you talking about Pepe?
Yes. It's nothing personal with Pepe, but the coach.
But in Zaragoza you played well together, right?
Yes, we are starters in Real Madrid. Normally we always play together.
Do you think Paulo Bento was right at press conference?
The coach only spoke of this issue the day before a game (against Cyprus), when I think the important thing was to talk about that game. He could respond to two or three questions, but spent the entire press conference talking about me. Unlike me, I made my decision while I was upset, he had twenty-four hours to reflect. When I was in the car outside the hotel, spoke with the director of the national team to explain the reasons for my departure.
Have you spoken to Mourinho about what happened and the possible consequences?
Yes, I talked to him, and also with several other people in Madrid.
Have you felt the support of Real Madrid in this situation?
Yes, I spoke with several people in the club and my teammates called me to discuss the issue. Some told me they respected my decision.
Could you return in the future to wear the shirt of the Portuguese team?
You never know, because I always told my teammates and other coaches that I would never leave the Portuguese team. This, however, was a different case. But if one day they want me to play, and if they think I can be useful and call me, I would be available.