Monday, January 30, 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks his silence on swearing at the Portugal coach over substitution

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks his silence on swearing at the Portugal coach over substitution

Cristiano Ronaldo denied swearing at Portugal coach Fernando Santos when he was substituted during yesterday’s 2-1 FIFA World Cup loss to South Korea. Both teams advanced to the next round.

Ronaldo, the captain of Portugal, stated that the comments he made while leaving the pitch in the 65th minute were directed at a South Korean player.

The Portuguese media reported that the former Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Juventus star, who left the English club last month, attempted to question Santos over the decision to substitute him using profane language.

“What happened was before my substitution, the South Korea player told me to get off quickly. I told him to shut up as he doesn’t have that authority. There was no disagreement (with the coach),” Ronaldo was quoted as saying by Portuguese reporters.

The 37-year-old is attempting to tie Eusebio’s record of nine goals scored at the 1966 World Cup in England, the only World Cup in which he participated.

Ronaldo became the first player to score in five World Cups last week.

When queried by reporters about the replacement incident, Santos stated that a South Korean player’s words towards the five-time Ballon d’Or winner were aggressive.

“I saw the interaction with Korean player and I have no doubts about what happened,” Santos said.

South Korea’s defense held Ronaldo mainly at bay during the Asians’ dramatic victory over Portugal that eliminated Uruguay from the World Cup. Kim Young-gwon scored the equalizer for South Korea in the 27th minute after a corner kicked him in the back and dropped to him.

Santos made six substitutions from the team that defeated Uruguay on Monday, aware of the possibility of yellow-card punishments in the next round, for which Portugal had already qualified prior to the match against South Korea.

“We’re unhappy. We wanted to go through with a win, we wanted to go through playing good football to keep boosting our confidence,” Santos said.

“We’re not going to lose confidence, this group has confidence, but it’s a warning, a serious warning. Perhaps some positive things could come from this game.”

He sent his congratulations to his predecessor as Portugal’s manager, Paulo Bento, who is currently in charge of South Korea.

“I’ve just given him a hug. I’m unhappy, he is happy. I didn’t facilitate anything but friends are friends, business aside,” he added.

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks his silence on swearing at the Portugal coach over substitution

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