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Korea Republic vs Portugal

Portugal boss Santos explains why Cristiano Ronaldo reacted angrily to being subbed against South Korea

21:36 EAT 02/12/2022
Ronaldo reaction South Korea World Cup 2022
Cristiano Ronaldo reacted angrily to coming off during the 2-1 defeat to South Korea because of something an opponent said, Fernando Santos revealed.
  • Ronaldo subbed after 65 minutes
  • Lee Sung-Jae said something to him en route
  • Pepe got involved to diffuse situation

WHAT HAPPENED? Ronaldo and Lee Sung-Jae had a couple of words as the Portuguese talisman made way for Andre Silva 65 minutes into South Korea's 2-1 win, a victory that saw them through to the knockout stages in second place behind Portugal. Ronaldo's reaction left viewers confused as to why he seemed unhappy about coming off knowing his side's place in the knockouts was secured. However, it was something Lee said that caused the reaction.

WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking soon after the defeat, Santos said: "Cristiano Ronaldo left upset because a Korean player was sending him away and Pepe even had to intervene. I heard what the Korean player was saying. If you see the images, you see Pepe going after the South Korean because of that."

Ronaldo also gave his view on the situation, saying: "What happened was that, before my departure, the player from Korea told me to leave quickly. I told him to shut up. He has no authority, he doesn't have to give an opinion, he would speed up the pace if he were the referee. But there doesn’t have to be controversy, things stay on the pitch."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ronaldo has played second fiddle to Bruno Fernandes during the tournament with the Manchester United man impressing and Ronaldo not perhaps performing to the levels he'd expect from himself. He only has one goal to his name thus far - a penalty against Ghana.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR RONALDO? He'll be more than capable of putting this little incident behind him as he and Portugal prepare for a round of 16 tie that could be against any of Brazil, Switzerland, Cameroon or Serbia.