Ronaldo was substituted midway through the second half of Portugal’s defeat to South Korea last Friday. He had put his index finger to his lips as he walked out, and later said he was irritated by opposition striker Cho Gue-sung for asking him to hurry up his exit.
Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Tuesday’s last-16 encounter against Switzerland. This follows reports that Portugal coach Fernando Santos was dissatisfied with Ronaldo’s gestures after being substituted against South Korea in their last group match. Tonight, Pepe will captain the team.
The 37-year-old striker opened the tournament with a goal against Ghana, becoming the first player in World Cup history to score in five different tournaments. However, he was ineffective in Portugal’s final two group games and was substituted midway through the second half of a 2-1 loss to South Korea.
Ronaldo was substituted midway through the second half of the loss to Korea. He had put his index finger to his lips as he walked out, and later said he was irritated by opposition striker Cho Gue-sung for asking him to hurry up his exit.
“What happened was that the South Korean player told me to get off quickly before my substitution.” I told him to stop talking because he doesn’t have that authority. “There was no disagreement (with the coach),” Ronaldo was quoted by Portuguese media as saying.
“No, I didn’t enjoy it at all. “I really didn’t like it, and from that moment on, that issue is finished,” Santos said during a pre-match press conference on Monday when asked about his comments on the situation.
The coach had also refused to comment on speculation back home about whether Ronaldo would play against Switzerland on Tuesday, whether he would start on the bench, or if he would captain the team.
“I only pick who will be captain when I go to the stadium,” Santos explained. “I’m still not sure what the lineup will be. That’s what I’ve always done and will continue to do, and it will be the same tomorrow. The other issue has been resolved. We fixed it in-house, and that’s all there is to it.”
Portugal has reached the World Cup round of 16 in four of Ronaldo’s five tournaments, but he has never played in a World Cup final. Portugal lost to France in the World Cup semifinals in 2006, the deepest Ronaldo has ever gone in the tournament.
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