Ronaldo blasted by Portugal coach for substitution reaction

DOHA, Qatar – Portugal coach Fernando Santos blasted the reaction to the substitution of Cristiano Ronaldo in Friday’s World Cup match against South Korea and refused to confirm whether the striker would play against Switzerland on Tuesday.

Ronaldo looked despondent when he was substituted in the 65th minute of the 2-1 defeat, with the 37-year-old caught on camera saying: “He was in a rush to subdue me.”

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Ronaldo then got into a verbal altercation with South Korean player Cho Gu-sung as he left the field, and Santos understood how Ronaldo reacted to his substitution after the game.

“Let’s divide this answer into two,” Santos said when asked about videos showing Ronaldo criticizing the decision to substitute him.

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“Immediately after the match, I spoke in the flash interview, then went to the press conference, where I said something, and I will repeat it here: on the pitch, I did not hear anything, I was far away, and this was just me arguing with a South Korean player. Seen because of that and nothing else.

“Have I already watched the footage? Yes. I didn’t like it. Didn’t like it at all. From then on things you solve internally. It’s solved this way, now we think about tomorrow’s game. . Everyone is focused on the game.”

Despite apparent talks with Ronaldo, Santos refused to confirm whether he would be named in the squad for the round of 16 clash with Switzerland at the Luceille Stadium — likely his last at a World Cup.

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“I’m just telling the team that’s playing in the dressing room,” Santos said.

“When we are in the stadium, they are looking for the team and they know it. It’s been like this since I came in. I start the team I think I should play in. That’s what I’ve been doing all my life. .I am fine with myself, no problem, I am with my conscience.

“Perhaps after the game I will reflect on it and think that I would have made a different decision. But since I came in 2014, it has been like that.

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“I only think about what is good for Portugal and the national team [Ronaldo] The topic is done; We sorted it internally. It’s all resolved. “

Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN that Ronaldo will agree a deal with Saudi Arabian club Al Nasser after leaving Manchester United.

Al Nassr is increasingly confident that a deal can be finalized after Portugal’s World Cup campaign.

“I didn’t talk to him about it,” Santos said. “I spoke to the players this morning, but we didn’t talk about this. I didn’t know anything about this topic, to be fair. When I came here [at the news conference] Someone told me about the news.

“But I know nothing. It is his decision; it is his matter, none of ours.”


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