World Cup 2022: Ronaldo denied swearing at the coach.
Ronaldo was listed in Portugal’s starting lineup and left the field in the 65th minute of the match that Portugal lost to Korea with a score of 1-2 on the evening of December 2. At that time, the match score was still 1-1. Ronaldo appeared to mumble something as he walked off the field after being replaced. Some people think that the 37-year-old striker was not satisfied with the coach's decision, so he swore.
However, Ronaldo quickly denied the accusation. Sapo newspaper (Portugal) quoted the captain striker: "Before I left the field, a Korean player urged me to hurry up. I told him to 'shut up' because he is not a referee to ask me to do so. And I certainly have no dissatisfaction with the coach."
Ronaldo explained that he said to a Korean player in that situation, not his coach.
"Whatever happens, they have to be left behind on the pitch. We have to be united, because the most important thing right now is the team to get to the round of 16. The Portuguese are very confident, because of us. I really want the team to go far," added Ronaldo.
When asked about the incident, coach Santos said he also heard the Korean player urging Ronaldo to leave the field more quickly and heard Ronaldo rebuke that player while he was taking off the captain's armband to give to Pepe.
"I saw Ronaldo interacting with a Korean player, and understood what happened. He just responded to the other. If you look at the pictures after the match, you will understand this. Pepe, after received the captain's armband from Ronaldo, also turned to scold the person who had just resisted his teammate," added Santos.
The Portuguese team’s leader then confirmed that Ronaldo did not react to his withdrawal from the field, making way for Andre Silva.
Fernando Santos confirmed that he had no issue with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Entering this match, Ronaldo aimed to catch the record for most goals scored by a Portuguese player at the World Cup (9 goals), set by the legendary Eusebio in 1966. He is one goal away from this record after becoming the first player to score in five consecutive World Cups with a goal against Ghana on November 24. That may be the reason why Ronaldo still played in the last group stage match against Korea, even though before the match he missed two training sessions with the Portuguese team due to an injury.
In the loss to Korea, Ronaldo had many opportunities, but he couldn’t successfully convert any of them. Not only that, he also helped the opponent score the equalizer in the 27th minute when the ball hit his back and fell to Kim Young-gwon's position in the corner defense situation.
Ronaldo had an under-par performance in this match.
This setback did not cause Portugal to lose their first place in Group H, allowing them to avoid Brazil in the round of 16. Instead, Ronaldo and his teammates will encounter Switzerland on the evening of December 6.