Portugal manager Fernando Santos has admitted he didn’t like what he saw when Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted against South Korea.
The former Manchester United star looked rather unhappy as he was taken off by Santos in the 65th minute of their eventual 2-1 loss to the Taegeuk Warriors during their final 2022 World Cup group stage tie.
Portuguese media reported that Ronaldo had sworn at his manager as he was taken off, but the ex-Manchester United star denied that his feisty reaction was aimed at his boss, but rather at opposition striker South Korea’s Cho Gue-sung.
Originally, Santos confirmed Ronaldo’s claim, stating he had no doubts it was aimed at Gue-sung.
Now, though, the Portugal manager has criticised the actions of his player.
“Have I seen the images when Ronaldo was subbed? Yes. Did I not like what I saw? No, I didn’t like it one bit,” Santos said on Monday.
However, the Portugal boss went on to say the issue has been squashed before their Round of 16 clash against Switzerland on Tuesday – live on talkSPORT – as his side prepare to fight for a spot in the quarter-finals.
“These matters are resolved behind closed doors,” he said. “It’s resolved. Full stop on this matter and now it’s full focus on tomorrow’s match.”
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When asked if Ronaldo would start against the Swiss, Santos – who has been Portugal manager since 2014 – said: “I only give the team in the stadium, in the locker room, it has always been like this.”
After the game when asked to clarify his angry reaction as he exited the field in his country’s final group game that saw them finish top of the group despite falling to defeat, Ronaldo revealed what Gue-sung said.
“What happened was before my substitution, the South Korea player told me to get off quickly,” Ronaldo explained.
“I told him to shut up as he doesn’t have that authority. There was no disagreement [with the coach].”
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