World Cup

Coach of Portugal ‘not pleased’ with Ronaldo gesture

Cristiano Ronaldo reacted violently when replaced during Portugal’s final group game at the World Cup in Qatar, and coach Fernando Santos expressed his displeasure with the forward’s actions.

Santos is preparing his squad to play Switzerland in the round of 16 on Tuesday after declaring that the problem is finally concluded.

In the first half of Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Asian team, Ronaldo claimed a South Korean player had “insulted” him. He was then replaced.

However, Portuguese media outlets have published photographs that appear to show him responding to Santos’ decision with profanity.

Asked how he had reacted to those images, Santos told a news conference on Monday: “I didn’t like it at all. I didn’t like it at all.”

But he claimed that the incident had reached its conclusion.

“Then these matters are resolved, resolved in-house,” he said. “They are over. It is the end of the story regarding this issue and now we’re thinking about the game tomorrow and everyone is fully focused on the match preparations.”

Although Santos claimed he was not paying attention to the discussion or online polls on the topic, Ronaldo’s starting position in the team is still a hot topic among Portugal supporters.

“I do not read this type of material,” he said. “It is not a lack of respect, it is simply that we have three days to train for a game and I am not looking at other kinds of news. We focus on the upcoming match.”

Santos said he expected a close contest against Switzerland. Portugal beat the Swiss 4-0 in the Uefa Nations League in June before losing 1-0 in the reverse fixture.

“It won’t be the first time against the Swiss, we know it will be a difficult match,” he added. “They are a well-organised team with high-quality players and they know their way of playing very well.

“They are very well synced and are always focused and that is what we expect in this match – we will face a disciplined side.”

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