Zinedine Zidane finally comments on Cristiano Ronaldo's strop after substitution

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Cristiano Ronaldo isn't a man who is used to being substituted.

As Real Madrid's leading light for the past seven years, and one of the world's greatest footballers for even longer, normally the only reason the Portuguese star doesn't see out the full 90 minutes is because of injury.

However, back on September 24, Zinedine Zidane bucked the trend by making the unorthodox decision to replace Ronaldo after 72 minutes. The star's reaction to that decision - a strop that began on the pitch and continued onto the Madrid bench - has generated headlines ever since.

Now, almost 10 days on, the Los Blancos boss has revealed exactly what he thought about Ronaldo's rather petulant reaction. Perhaps surprisingly, Zidane argues it was a good thing.

First, Ronaldo's reaction to the news he was being taken off... (skip to 1:55)

Speaking to Spanish publication RMC, via Goal, the Madrid manager offered his view.

"It's good that Ronaldo was upset when he came off...It shows that the guy is concerned and wants to bring something to the team."

Zidane has a point. You'd rather see a player disappointed not to be seeing out the game than happily jogging to the side of the field to take a seat on the bench.

And, per the Frenchman, there was never any chance that Ronaldo's public display was going to land him in hot water.

"But it doesn't matter. I explained it to him, and it's over."

As to why Zidane felt the need to take the veteran forward off with Madrid only holding a tentative 2-1 lead? With such a hectic schedule of games ahead, he needed to find opportunities to rest Ronaldo at some point.

"We play 60 matches these days. In my time, we had that in two years. For me, a player can't play 65 matches in a season at the same level.

"I talk to my players first, I explain it to them. I want to have their opinion."

Nevertheless, with Las Palmas scoring late on to secure a 2-2 draw, the decision continues to draw scrutiny.

And, with Madrid having now drawn their past four fixtures in league and European competition, Zidane will surely be thinking twice the next time he considers taking off his star man with a game on the line.

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Gareth Bale
La Liga
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo
Manchester United
UEFA Champions League

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