Sport Soccer

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Cristiano Ronaldo sulks as he is substituted but gets support from his mother

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the pitch
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo leaves the pitch

Even the world's best players aren't immune to being substituted - although from Cristiano Ronaldo's reaction to sitting on the bench it isn't one he'll want to become used to any time soon.

With 18 minutes to go and Real Madrid 2-1 up on Las Palmas coach Zinedine Zidane decided to replace the three-time world player of the year. Ronaldo watched on as Sergio Araujo equalised to ensure Real dropped points for the second time in four days.

Ronaldo had refused to look at Zidane as they shook hands following his withdrawal but at least he had the support from his mum to count on.

Dolores Aveiro posted a picture of her son looking dismayed in the dug out and tweeted "never put your head down".

"I have to take him off sometimes and tonight we did it," was Zidane's reaction to his decision. "That isn't going to change what we are going to do continue to do."

At the forefront of Zidane's mind was Real's huge Champions League clash away to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

However, Ronaldo endured a poor night in front of goal as he fluffed a great chance from Alvaro Morata's cut-back before half-time and fired straight at Javi Varas in the build-up to Madrid's second goal.

"We have a game on Tuesday and I thought it was the time to take him off, 20 minutes from the end, thinking about Tuesday," added Zidane.

"I know he always wants to play and always wants to stay on the field, but I also have to think about the players and for me it was best to rest and think about Tuesday."

Ronaldo has completed 90 minutes just twice this season, though, as he was also replaced early on his return from a knee ligament injury against Osasuna earlier this month and missed last weekend's win at Espanyol due to illness.

Real's lead over Barcelona at the top of the table now stands at a solitary point having failed to bounce back from a 1-1 draw with Villarreal on Wednesday that ended a 16-game winning streak in La Liga.

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