Recent reports about an alleged rift between Cristiano Ronaldo and Maurizio Sarri have been doing the rounds. After the Portuguese superstar was substituted in the 55th minute of their clash with AC Milan, many began claiming all was not well between the player and manager.
It was the second consecutive game in which the five-time Ballon d’Or was taken off the pitch and the decision understandably did not please the 34-year-old. He went straight down the tunnel and left the stadium before full-time.
Sarri insisted that his decision to take him off early was due to a lack of fitness due to a knee issue. However, the former Real Madrid ace went on to join up with the national team and score four goals in the span of two games.
Portugal coach Fernando Santos insisted that their all-time leading goalscorer is in perfect shape. Then reports that the superstar is due to have showdown talks with the Serie A champions emerged.
Ronaldo has now broken his silence, addressing the topic directly. The Juventus ace was quick to pour water over the rift claims, insisting that there is no grudge over the matter as it is part and parcel of the game. The 34-year-old even admitted that he had not been at his best.
"In the last three weeks I have been limited,” Ronaldo is quoted as saying by Football Italia.
"Everyone knows that I don't like to be substituted, but there was no problem in my gestures after the change. I tried to help Juventus by playing injured.
"No one likes to be replaced, but I understand it, because I wasn't well in those two games. I wasn't 100%."
It appears Sarri was right all along. Whether this will put to bed claims of a rift with the Bianconeri boss is uncertain, however, as these kinds of rumors never stop following players of Cristiano’s caliber.