Ronaldo ‘insulted’ by South Korea player

AL RAYYAN, Qatar — Cristiano Ronaldo was “insulted” by South Korea’s Cho Gue-sung as he left the field, according to Fernando Santos, as the Portugal coach tried to defend his disappointing performance against to be changed.

Ronaldo appeared to have a verbal exchange with Cho as he walked towards the seats and then put his finger in his mouth.

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The 37-year-old appeared unhappy with the decision to send him off in the 65th minute but after the 2-1 defeat that sent South Korea into the last 16, Santos insisted it was his relationship with Cho that made the former Manchester United. before “anger”.

“The player from Korea was insulting him and telling him to leave, so he was angry, everyone saw it,” said Santos.

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“I saw the contact with the Korean player and I have no doubt about it and if you see the footage you see Pepe went towards the Korean player.

“He wasn’t aggressive, he was just verbally aggressive, he was talking to Cristiano in English, and Cristiano said, ‘Maybe he had a bad day.’

Ronaldo told Portuguese reporters that Cho was trying to rush him off the pitch.

“What happened was before my substitution, the South Korean player told me to leave early. I told him to shut up because he doesn’t have that authority. There was no conflict. [with the coach]Ronaldo said.

South Korean midfielder Hwang In-Beom had little to say about the incident.

“I didn’t see it, I was too tired,” he said. “I was looking at the ground, so I didn’t see him and I don’t have anything to say.”

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Portugal still finished top of Group H despite conceding a 91st-minute winner to Hwang Hee-chan, which saw South Korea beat Uruguay in the competition.

Santos’ side are set to face the second-placed team in Group H — possibly Switzerland, Serbia or Cameroon — but he insisted the defeat to South Korea should serve as a “warning” to his team.

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“We’re a little nervous,” Santos added.

“We are the first in the group, but we wanted to win and increase the morale of the players with a better game. But this result is a warning for our team.”

Meanwhile, South Korea face Brazil in the second round for the first time since 2010.

They were leading up to Hwang’s dramatic winner which saw them win on goals down ahead of Uruguay, who crashed out of the World Cup with Ghana 2-0.

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“Before the match Son Heung-min told me that I will create something today,” said Hwang.

“He said, ‘We believe in you.’ When I went on the bench, a lot of my teammates said they believed in me. When Son got the ball, I was sure he was going to pass it to me and it was a great pass.” It made my job easy.

“It was difficult to wait for the next result, but we proved that we can go to the knockout stage and we kept that belief. This is what we wanted and what we expected. I want to share these great feelings with the returning Korean people. “

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