Cristiano Ronaldo was not accustomed to being subbed off at Juventus and once he was so upset that he even left the stadium before the end of the match.
It was in November 2019, during a home Serie A clash between Juventus and Milan.
Maurizio Sarri had replaced the Portuguese striker with Paulo Dybala and Ronaldo stormed off the pitch, leaving the Allianz Stadium before the final whistle.
Juventus won the match 1-0 thanks to a goal of Dybala.
It was the second time in a row that Ronaldo was subbed off by Sarri in less than a week. In the previous Champions League fixture against Lokomotiv Moscow, the Tuscan tactician had replaced CR7 after 82 minutes, while the substitution against Milan happened much earlier, at minute 55.
Sarri explained his decisions after the match with Milan: “Ronaldo is playing despite not being 100% fit, we must thank him for his commitment, he has a slight problem so he is not fully fit,” he said.
Ronaldo was subbed off only once more before the end of the season and, in the following campaign under Andrea Pirlo, he was replaced four times in 46 matches.
He walked inside the dressing room before the end of a decisive Serie A tie against Inter in May 2021 after being subbed off at minute 70.
This past summer, Sarri opened up about his relationship with Ronaldo and how challenging it could be to deal with the Portuguese star.
“It’s not easy to manage Ronaldo. He is like a multinational company with personal interests that must match the team’s interests,” he said in an interview with Sportitalia after being appointed Lazio coach.
“Personally, I think I am better as a coach than as a manager, I have much more fun on the pitch. However, there is also a positive side of the story because Ronaldo brings the goals.
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“When a person reaches this level, with so many followers on social, he may go beyond the team. It’s not normal, it’s the product of our society. Over the last few years, I’ve heard many people talking about footballers and not about the teams.”
Ralf Rangnick may have felt the same as Ronaldo was visibly upset when the Manchester United coach replaced him during last night’s Premier League match against Brentford.