IBTimes UK

Zinedine Zidane said Cristiano Ronaldo was not angry at him after the Real Madrid star was substituted during their 2016/17 La Liga game at Las Palmas on 24 September.

Despite taking an early lead on Saturday, Real Madrid failed to return home with three points. The league leaders went ahead in the first half with a strike from Marco Asensio. However, Las Palmas forward Tana scored the equaliser before the break for the hosts.

With Benzema putting Real in front once again in the second half, coach Zidane decided to withdraw Ronaldo with 18 minutes to go on the clock. The Portugal captain, who was strategically taken off for the first time in his seven-year stint with the La Liga giants, did not look amused with the Frenchman's decision and walked off the field unhappy.

At the sidelines, Ronaldo did not share eye contact with his coach but both the men shook hands. A visibly disappointed Ronaldo argued with a team official after coming off. The three-time Ballon d'Or winner only watched Las Palmas substitute Sergio Araujo scoring the late equaliser for the hosts.

Zidane maintained that he made the decision to keep Ronaldo fresh for Tuesday's trip to Borussia Dortmund for their Champions League group encounter. Notably, the Real star had suffered a knee injury during the final of the 2016 European Championship and was forced to miss the first two games in the ongoing La Liga season.

"It was not that [Ronaldo] was playing badly. We are playing on Tuesday and Cristiano must rest too sometimes," Zidane was quoted as saying the Mirror Online.

"It was just for that. He was playing well. Tonight I took him off thinking of Tuesday's game.

"Angry? That would be your interpretation. He always wants to be on the pitch. We have to take him out sometimes, and we did today. It does not change anything."

IBTimes UK