Ronaldo's substitution in Rome his first since last May
The Portugal star had played every minute of every game so far this season. Zidane explained after the match: "He asked for the change."
Zinedine Zidane substituted Cristiano Ronaldo in the Stadio Olimpico in the 89th minute, Brazilian midfielder Casemiro coming on to replace the Portuguese. It was the first time this season that Ronaldo had been pulled off before the final whistle. Rafa Benítez didn’t order the number seven on to the fourth official’s board during his tenure but the Frenchman did on Wednesday night, bringing Ronaldo’s eternal run to an end in Rome.
However, Zidane clarified after the game that Ronaldo had asked for the change to be made. “Cristiano had played the way we want him to and he left everything on the pitch. He asked me to make the substitution,” the Real boss said after the match.
The last time Ronaldo was substituted for his club was in the final match of last season at the Santiago Bernabéu. Real were drubbing Getafe 7-3 and Ronaldo had helped himself to a hat-trick. Carlo Ancelotti, in what would prove to be his final game in charge of the team, made a symbolic change on 58 minutes, sending on Martin Odegaard to replace the number seven.
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