Ronaldo was left in shock by insult from South Korea striker Gue-sung as he left the field
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Cristiano Ronaldo was furious after South Korea striker Cho Gue-sung riled him up in Portugal's last-gasp 2-1 defeat on Friday.
Portugal captain and talisman Ronaldo was substituted in the 65th minute of the final Group H clash and appeared to be unhappy with the decision taken from manager Fernando Santos.
However, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner has denied any talk of a rift with Santos and says his anger was a result of Cho telling him to hurry off the pitch.
Images showed Ronaldo putting his fingers to his lips, telling the 24-year-old to be quiet.
“What happened was before my substitution, the South Korea player told me to get off quickly. I told him to shut up as he doesn’t have that authority. There was no disagreement (with the coach),” Ronaldo told Portuguese reporters, as per ESPN.
Klarifikasi Cristiano Ronaldo ttg gesture-nya ke Cho Gue-sung— Fakta Bola ⚽ (@FaktaSepakbola) December 3, 2022
"Saat itu pemain Korea Selatan menyuruh saya cepat meninggalkan lapangan. Saya suruh dia diam, krn dia gk pnya hak & gk perlu memberi opininya. Tpi itu bkn kontroversi. Yg terjadi di lapangan, biarlah di dlm lapangan" pic.twitter.com/16Ao8n94Et
Santos also detailed why Ronaldo was so irate and had the very same explanation.
"The player from Korea was insulting him telling him to go away, so that is the reason why he was angry, everyone saw that," Santos said.
"I saw the interaction with the Korea player and I don't have any doubts about it and if you see the images you see Pepe went towards the Korea player.
"He was not aggressive, he was only verbally aggressive, he was speaking in English to Cristiano, and Cristiano said, 'Perhaps he had a bad day.'"
Portugal went 1-0 up early on through Ricardo Horta's first World Cup goal but levelled through Kim Young-gwon in the 27th minute.
And in stoppage time, Wolves' forward Hwan Hee-chan latched onto a delightful pass from Heung-Min Son and fired in a winner.
The goal meant South Korea pipped Uruguay to second place on goals scored and set up a round of 16 showdown with Brazil.
Cho, meanwhile, has become a huge sensation in this tournament. Scorer of two goals against Ghana, the striker has had to turn his phone off after getting too much attention.
He has now amassed 1.6 million followers and counting on Instagram.