Portugal coach Fernando Santos says he “really didn’t like” Cristiano Ronaldo’s reaction to being substituted in the World Cup defeat by South Korea.
Ronaldo was taken off 65 minutes into their final group stage defeat and has denied directing an outburst towards his coach. Santos refused to comment on reports Ronaldo could be dropped for Tuesday’s last-16 match with Switzerland.
“I am not worried if information is right or wrong,” said Santos. “I do not read this type of information. I am focused on my team. We are focusing on training and not paying attention to any polls [in the Portuguese media]. “Yes, I did not like it, not at all [Ronaldo’s outburst].
I really did not like it and from that moment on that issue [it] is finished.” Much of the Portugal news conference on Monday was dominated by talk of the 37-year-old forward, who left Manchester United by mutual consent in November following a controversial interview.
Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have already made a huge offer to sign Ronaldo after the tournament in Qatar, while a number of other clubs have expressed an interest in him. “I have not spoken to him about this,” added Santos. “I don’t know about this. It is his decision. I did not even know about this and I heard about this when I arrived here. “We are focused on the World Cup.
I don’t know anything about this other issue.”Switzerland were really passive against Brazil and didn’t manage a shot on target, but their other games in Qatar give us a better idea of what to expect from them here.
Portugal have some excellent players but the Swiss will be full of confidence after the way they overcame Serbia to get to the last 16. They also beat Portugal when they played them in the Nations League in June.
This will be close and I have a feeling Cristiano Ronaldo will have a big say in the outcome – although not necessarily in a positive way.
It is a risk-versus-reward scenario for Portugal if they pick Ronaldo, because his influence on the team is massive, but they might have a better starter who should be in the side.
If this tie goes the distance, how long should he stay on the pitch?