Cristiano Ronaldo Talks Juventus Substitutions, Says He Is Not Fully Fit

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IINovember 17, 2019

, LUXEMBOURG - NOVEMBER 17: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal during the  EURO Qualifier match between Luxembourg  v Portugal  on November 17, 2019 (Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo said on Sunday he understands why he has been substituted in Juventus' last two games and explained that he has been playing for his club and Portugal while not fully fit.

The Portugal international told reporters he does not enjoy being taken off but knows why Juve boss Maurizio Sarri chose to replace him against AC Milan and Lokomotiv Moscow.

"In the last three weeks, I have been playing despite not being fully fit. I don't like to be substituted, but I have been playing despite not being fully fit and I tried to help Juventus. I understand the substitutions, as I wasn't 100 percent. In these two games with Portugal I wasn't at 100 per cent either.

"In my career, I never had serious injuries, as I usually do between 50 and 60 games, but I am having some discomfort that prevent me from being at 100 percent. Someone should have said something, especially the coach or myself, but you know I don't usually talk to the press a lot. But I am very proud to sacrifice myself for the national team or for my club."

Ronaldo reacted angrily after being taken off after just 55 minutes of Juventus' 1-0 win over AC Milan before the international break:

The 34-year-old reportedly left the Juventus Stadium before the match had even finished after being seemingly frustrated by Sarri's decision to replace him.

Squawka Football noted how rare it is for Ronaldo to be taken off:

Sarri told Sky Sport Italia (h/t Metro) after the match that he had taken off Ronaldo because he was struggling with a knee injury and "he is not his best at the moment."

Ronaldo returned to action over the international break with Portugal and bagged a hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Lithuania. He was also on target in their 2-0 victory over Luxembourg, scoring his 99th international goal in the win.

ESPN FC noted how 2019 is his most prolific year in Portugal's colours:

Ronaldo has shown few signs of injury while on international duty but will now return to club side Juventus and link up with Sarri again. The Italian champions play Atalanta next in Serie A and then face a visit from Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.

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