Cristiano Ronaldo was replaced in the 65th minute of the match between Portugal and South Korea and when he went to the bench he showed his displeasure, and Portugal coach Fernando Santos explained what exactly happened.
CMTV reported that Ronaldo left the field cursing, but it seems that it was not a clash with Santos, but that Ronaldo was addressing a Korean football player who was rushing and provoking him during the substitution. "You're hurrying me to get out, f**k," Ronaldo said, but Santos claims that those words were not directed at him.
"He was angry with the Korean player who insulted him and invited him to leave the field.
He answered him in kind, it's perfectly normal. " said the Portugal coach.
Santos commented on the painless knockout this way
"The opponent started winning more duels, in the second half the team had many ups and downs. Things did not go well and the responsibility is mine, of course.
Morale remains high, this group is very focused and we have to continue to be the same as we have been until now. We can never slow down, in a World Cup any opponent is very dangerous." "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." Even Ronaldo justified himself that it was only a gesture toward the Korean player, but he did not want to create further controversy.
"What happened was before my substitution, the South Korean 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.
"I saw the interaction with Korean player and I have no doubts about what happened," Santos said. Portugal will play against Serbia or Switzerland in the round of 16.