Portugal lost their last group game at Qatar 2022, beaten 2-1 by South kKorea. Thus, the national team led by Lusitanian coach Paulo Bento qualified for the round of 16. On paper it was a painless defeat for Fernando Santos’ side, without even compromising top spot in the group, but there are those within the grup who did not take well to the “sudden turn” that took place yesterday afternoon in Qatar.
It is of course Cristiano Ronaldo, who as we know never likes to lose, regardless of the importance of the match. The number 7, activated as a starter, despite the qualification already in his pocket, could not find the way to the goal and therefore looked particularly nervous during the match, but above all after he was substituted.
Thus, after a dispute with a South Korean opponent who, with the score still 1-1, had invited him to hurry off the field during the substitution, CR7’s true anger erupted seconds later and targeted Fernando Santos.
In fact, the cameras caught a rather fiery expression of Ronaldo, addressed to his coach. “You are always in a hurry to replace me, but you have to be careful with me,” Cristiano said before sitting on the bench.
Santos himself, after the match, tried to reduce the tension, asserting that Ronaldo’s anger was precisely related to the dispute he had with the South Korean player: “Pepe had to intervene to restore calm and Cristiano was tense.” The forward showed his frustration at being substituted for the third time in three World Cup games.
Ronaldo had already made no secret of his irritation after being forced off the pitch late in the match against Ghana, in the 88th minute with the score 3-1, seconds before the Africans’ goal that restarted the match, and then against Uruguay nine minutes from the end, a match marked by the “contested” goal of Bruno Fernandes.