Monday, January 30, 2023
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Portugal boss hits out at Cristiano Ronaldo for World Cup antics – 'I didn't like it'


Portugal manager Fernando Santos has hit out at star man Cristiano Ronaldo for his reaction after being substituted in Friday’s 2-1 defeat to South Korea. Santos attempted to manage Ronaldo’s minutes by replacing him just after the hour mark, with top spot in Group H all but sealed, but he acted sourly.

The 37-year-old striker threw a strop as he exited the pitch before taking a drink and throwing his water bottle after sitting down in the dugout. And Portuguese media stirred the pot further by quoting Ronaldo mumbling, ‘you’re in a f**king hurry to sub me off’ by leaving play.

The clash was finely poised at 1-1 after Young-Gwon Kim cancelled out Ricardo Horta’s opener in the first half. Ronaldo likely felt aggrieved by the timing of his withdrawal, given the game was there to be won, something he’s grown so used to contributing throughout his storied career.

But that is no excuse for his behaviour in reaction to Santos’ decision in the Portugal boss’ books, despite Hee-Chan Hwang winning it for South Korea in stoppage time. Ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup last-16 game against Switzerland, he told reporters: “I didn’t like it at all. I really didn’t like anything. But it was resolved at home. The matter is closed.”

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