Ronaldo blasted by Portugal coach for substitution response


DOHA, Qatar — Portugal coach Fernando Santos blasted Cristiano Ronaldo’s response to being substituted in Friday’s World Cup recreation in opposition to South Korea and refused to substantiate whether or not the striker will play in opposition to Switzerland on Tuesday.

Ronaldo appeared visibly annoyed when he was changed within the sixty fifth minute of the 2-1 defeat, with cameras catching the 37-year-old showing to say, “He is in a rush to sub me.”

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Ronaldo was then concerned in a verbal altercation with South Korea participant Cho Gue-Sung as he left the sector, and it was solely after the sport that Santos realised how Ronaldo had reacted to his substitution.

“Let’s cut up this reply in two,” mentioned Santos when requested about video footage showing to point out Ronaldo criticising the choice to substitute him.

“Proper after the match, I spoke within the flash interview, after which went to the press convention, and there I mentioned one thing I am going to repeat right here: on the pitch, I did not hear something. I used to be too far, and that is why I solely noticed him arguing with a South Korean participant, and nothing else.

“Have I already watched the footage? Sure. I did not prefer it. Did not prefer it in any respect. From there, it is belongings you type out internally. It was sorted out this manner, and now we take into consideration the sport tomorrow. Everybody is concentrated on the sport.”

Regardless of holding clear-the-air talks with Ronaldo, Santos refused to substantiate whether or not he can be named within the crew for the round-of-16 tie with Switzerland at Lusail Stadium — doubtlessly his final recreation at a World Cup.

“I solely inform the crew who will play within the dressing room,” Santos mentioned.

“Once we’re within the stadium they discover out concerning the crew. And so they know that. It has been like this since I arrived. I’ll begin the crew that I feel ought to play. It is what I have been doing my whole life. I am OK with myself, haven’t any downside. I stick with my conscience.

“Possibly after the match I mirror on it that I might need taken a distinct choice. However it’s been like this since I arrived in 2014.

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“I solely take into consideration what’s good for Portugal and the nationwide crew. And the [Ronaldo] matter is completed, we sorted it out internally. It is all sorted out.”

In the meantime, sources have informed ESPN that Ronaldo is nearing an settlement with Saudi Arabian membership aspect Al Nassr following his departure from Manchester United.

There’s rising confidence at Al Nassr {that a} deal may be finalised after Portugal’s World Cup marketing campaign.

“I did not converse to him about that,” Santos mentioned. “This morning I spoke to the gamers, however we did not discuss this. I did not know something about this matter, to be truthful. After I arrived right here [at the news conference] somebody informed me concerning the information.

“However I do not know something. It is his choice, it is his matter, not ours. Cristiano is 100% centered on the World Cup and on serving to the crew. That is his focus proper now. About different conditions, I do not know something.”

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