Ronaldo’s substitution anger defended by Juventus team-mate Szczesny

The Portuguese attacker stormed down the tunnel after his substitution against AC Milan but the goalkeeper came to his defence

Cristiano Ronaldo’s angry reaction to being substituted against AC Milan has been “normal” and he will make the difference in the decisive moments of the season, says Juventus team-mate Wojciech Szczesny.

Portugal forward Ronaldo was hauled off for the second game running when the Bianconeri were chasing a goal and, just as they did against Lokomotiv Moscow in midweek, Juve went on to secure a victory with Paulo Dybala’s strike sealing a 1-0 win.

Ronaldo stormed straight down the tunnel after being hooked and has been reported to have left the Allianz Stadium before the final whistle

Goalkeeper Szczesny had sympathy for Ronaldo’s reaction, saying: “I think it has been normal for a champion to get a little angry when he leaves the field.

“He will return in better physical condition and, as he has always done, will make the difference in the decisive phase of the season.

“In recent weeks he has not trained at 100 per cent, after the international break it will be better. We all know the qualities and personality of Ronaldo.”

After the game, Ronaldo posted on Instagram with the caption: “A difficult game, an important win!”

Head coach Maurizio Sarri later said Ronaldo has been still struggling with a knee injury and insisted he should be thanked for trying to play through the pain barrier.

Ronaldo’s angry reaction to being withdrawn suggested he was not entirely happy with Sarri’s decision, although it has been reported the club will not take any action against their superstar forward.

“We must thank Ronaldo, because he made a sacrifice to be there at all tonight in a difficult situation,” Sarri told Sky Sport Italia post-match.

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“He did everything possible to play, but I saw he was not well and thought it best to take him off. It’s only natural a soccer professional has been going to be irritated to leave the pitch, especially when he worked so hard to be there.

“Over the last month, he has had this little knee problem, he had a knock in training and it hurt the collateral ligament. When he trains at high intensity or plays, it unbalances him, so he ends up overcompensating and it damages the calf and thigh muscles.

“It has been affecting his performances and he has been not at his best at the moment. All players who are trying to give their best will have at least five minutes of being annoyed when they are substituted, but a coach would in general be much more worried if he didn’t seem upset.”



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