Portugal boss angry with Ronaldo's reaction to substitution

Hector Vivas - FIFA / FIFA / Getty

Portugal head coach Fernando Santos was unimpressed with Cristiano Ronaldo's reaction to being substituted during Friday's 2-1 defeat to South Korea and said the matter was dealt with internally.

Ronaldo was visibly frustrated when he was called off in the 65th minute, and cameras appeared to catch the 37-year-old claiming Santos was "in a rush" to withdraw him. Santos initially said he was too far from Ronaldo to hear the attacker's complaints at the time, but he's since watched a video of the incident.

"Have I already watched the footage? Yes. I didn't like it. Didn't like it at all," Santos said Monday, according to ESPN's Rob Dawson. "From there, it's things you sort out internally. It was sorted out this way, and now we think about the game tomorrow. Everyone is focused on the game."

Despite insisting that the issue was resolved, Santos refused to say that Ronaldo would remain in Portugal's starting lineup for Tuesday's World Cup round of 16 meeting with Switzerland.

"I only tell the team who will play in the dressing room," Santos said. "When we're in the stadium, they find out about the team. And they know that. It's been like this since I arrived. I will start the team that I think should play.

"It's what I've been doing my entire life. I'm OK with myself, have no problem. I stay with my conscience."

The veteran forward's indiscipline with Portugal follows numerous high-profile incidents that led to the mutual termination of his Manchester United contract in November. Ronaldo requested to leave United last summer, and he and other players left before the end of a friendly against Rayo Vallecano after being substituted at halftime.

Despite manager Erik ten Hag's frustration about the early exit, Ronaldo reportedly became a disruptive influence at United's training ground as he regularly ate alone in the canteen and was vocal about his dislike of Ten Hag's high-pressing approach. Ronaldo was also angry when he was taken off during a goalless draw with Newcastle United, and just days later, he left another match early - United's impressive 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in October - after he refused to come on as a substitute.

Ronaldo then publicly slammed Ten Hag, the club, the hunger of the Red Devils' younger players, and former United teammates who had criticized him in a tell-all interview with Piers Morgan. His second spell with United ended shortly after.

Portugal boss angry with Ronaldo's reaction to substitution
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