Cristiano Ronaldo made his feelings clear to Fernando Santos after being caught on camera fuming at the Portugal boss after their damaging defeat by Serbia in Lisbon.
Portugal will have to qualify for the next year’s World Cup in Qatar via the play-offs after a stoppage-time header from Aleksandar Mitrovic secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for the Serbs at the Estadio da Luz.
It all appeared to be going swimmingly for the hosts when Renato Sanches opened the scoring inside two minutes, but Ajax star Dusan Tadic equalised 31 minutes later before the Fulham striker’s match-winning moment.
Cristiano Ronaldo (left) appeared to fume at Portugal boss Fernando Santos (right) after their defeat by Serbia
The result saw Serbia leapfrog Portugal back into first place in Group A, and Ronaldo was seen breaking down in tears after the final whistle.
But that was not the end of the theatrics from the Portuguese, who went on to make his frustration at their failure to secure automatic qualification abundantly clear.
As players and staff from both sides shook hands following the final whistle, Ronaldo was first approached by Serbia substitute Nemanja Radonjic, who shared a brief embrace with the Manchester United star.
In a clip shared online, Ronaldo then spots Santos, 67, approaching and begins shouting and gesticulating furiously with his arms towards him. The Portugal boss quickly walks off after a brief handshake with the 36-year-old.
Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goal means Portugal will now have to qualify for next year’s World Cup via the play-offs.
Manchester United star Ronaldo broke down after the final whistle in Lisbon on Sunday
The former Real Madrid and Juventus star then puts his hands on his hips before making his way towards the other players and the tunnel with his dejection still clear for all to see.
Taking to Instagram on Monday morning, Ronaldo insists Portugal will come back stronger following the blow they received to their World Cup hosts, but warned his team-mates there can be no more excuses.
‘Football has shown us time and time again that, at times, it is the most winding paths that lead to the most desired outcomes,’ he wrote.
‘Yesterday’s result was tough, but not enough to get us down. The objective of being present at the 2022 World Cup is still very much alive and we know what we have to do to get there. No excuses. Portugal heading to Qatar.’
It was not the first time this year Ronaldo had shown his frustration in a Portugal shirt, throwing his captain’s armband to the floor and storming off the pitch after being denied an stoppage-time winner in the reverse fixture in March.
Ronaldo’s frustration came after he threw his armband to the floor in the reverse fixture
Speaking after the defeat in Lisbon, Santos said via Portuguese outlet O Jogo: ‘He was saying that in Serbia he had scored a goal in the last minute and it was not validated.
‘That’s what he was saying. It’s his outburst, it’s normal, he was frustrated. No one will explain, at the end of a game, what happened and what didn’t.’
Ronaldo’s frustration was not helped by his own failure to impact the game against Serbia, hitting two of his three shots off target while the other was blocked.
It was a disappointing end to a fruitful World Cup qualifying campaign for Ronaldo in front of goal, netting six across all matches, including a hat-trick in the emphatic win against Luxembourg last month.
But his hopes of qualifying for a fifth straight World Cup and adding to his tally of seven goals in 17 games across the five tournaments will rest on Portugal’s ability to negotiate a play-off in March next year.
Sunday night’s result also added to his current problems at Manchester United, where he has already let his emotions get the better of him this season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner stormed down the Old Trafford tunnel alone after United’s 1-1 draw against Everton at the beginning of last month, after he was surprisingly left out of the starting XI for the game by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Portuguese has also been left alarmed by the drop in standards at the club in his 12-year absence before returning in the summer from Juventus.
Meanwhile, Portugal have played in every single edition of the tournament since they last failed to qualify in 1998, and while Ronaldo threw his latest tantrum, team-mate Bernardo Silva was in a more apologetic mood.
Ronaldo has also been frustrated at Manchester United, storming off alone down the tunnel after their draw with Everton last month
Ronaldo’s theatrics did not stop there as he gesticulated furiously in the direction of Santos
‘It was a bad game for Portugal,’ the Manchester City star said after the game. ‘We managed to score the goal early but from then on we stopped playing. I cannot find a great explanation for this, words fail me.
‘It was terrible, we have to do much better because we have a play-off in March and we will do our best to qualify. But at home, with 65,000 fans, we had to do much better.
‘I apologise to the Portuguese (fans) who watched a game they shouldn’t have watched. The plan was to try to have the ball, we were completely dominated by Serbia. With the quality of our players this is hardly admissible.
‘I played a little bit limited, I tried to give my best until the moment came when I thought that another player would be in better conditions.’