Ronaldo’s ex-teammate defends his controversial reaction to substitution

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo reacts as he leaves the pitch to be substituted during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group F match against Georgia at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen on June 26, 2024. — AFP

Cristiano Ronaldo’s ex-Manchester United teammate Wes Brown came to his defence after he gave a controversial reaction to his substitution in the 66th minute of Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Georgia.

Earlier this week, Georgia beat Portugal 2-0 in a match where Ronaldo, 39, drew another blank at the tournament after being unable to score a goal so far, which added to his frustration which he did not hide during the game, the Mirror UK reported.

The Al Nassr star expressed his frustration by kicking a water bottle as he approached his seat after receiving a yellow card and being substituted for Goncalo Ramos.

This action was misinterpreted by viewers as Ronaldo’s frustration aimed at teammates but Brown asserted that it was self-directed instead.

On Reach’s latest podcast episode of Euro Thrash, the English player told host Nubaid Haroon: “That’s normal. He’s come off, he wants to score. I’ve said this in previous ones. His attitude’s so good. People might think he’s snapping at other people but he’s not.

“He’s just wounded he’s not scored before he’s come off. He probably knew he was coming off after a certain amount of time by the way, and he’ll just be disappointed he’s not contributed or got an assist or a goal.”

With just one assist in the first three matches, Ronaldo’s performance at the tournament has been disappointing, according to the Mirror UK.

Portugal still managed to top Group F due to a 2-1 win over Czechia and a 3-0 thrashing of Turkey.

They’re set to face Slovenia in the round of 16 on Monday.

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