The Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has warned Cristiano Ronaldo to control his temper as the countdown to the World Cup continues.
The Manchester United winger was fortunate to escape with a booking in the 3-0 friendly win over Luxembourg on Saturday after retaliating to a tackle at the Stade St Symphorien in Metz, and Scolari was typically blunt in his assessment of the 21-year-old's display.
"Cristiano Ronaldo worries me, because the majority of our opponents provoke him and he does not know how to deal with it," Scolari said. "He must keep it in his head not to react in this way. Our opponents know that if they get at Cristiano he will react this way.
"I want him to bear this in mind. He is part of a squad. We are trying to show him the difficulties he will have in the next few days. Of course I am worried about him.
"We're trying to make him understand referees do not always penalise fouls. Cristiano has a good character and listens to his team-mates. I think he will change."
It is not the first time that the former Brazil coach - a World Cup winner in 2002 - has told the United winger to get his act together. In the build-up to Euro 2004, Scolari substituted him in a warm-up match and said he did not want players who were "doi-doi" - a phrase which has no exact translation but seemed to be referring to the player's tendency to produce stepovers and tricks for show at inappropriate moments.
Ronaldo responded with some fine performances in Euro 2004 and has ever since been an automatic first choice. Ronaldo admitted he had been wrong to react at Metz, telling journalists: "I can show you the state of my foot. It's not easy.
"But it does not justify my reaction and I hope I don't do it again because it could cost us at the World Cup. Once again I say sorry and I hope it won't happen at the World Cup."
Two second-half goals from Simao Sabrosa, including a penalty, and a late goal from Luis Figo ensured a comfortable win for Scolari's side on Saturday. The Portuguese team sheet looked very close to the side with which Scolari may begin the World Cup against Angola.
Portugal took charge of the match in the second half and Simao gave them the lead one minute after the restart when he headed home after Luxembourg goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert parried a shot from substitute Helder Postiga, the former Tottenham Hotspur player.
Simao got his second goal from the penalty spot after a crude challenge on Figo by Alphonse Leweck.
Figo rounded off a successful evening when he netted the third after collecting a superb pass from the Chelsea defender Ricardo Carvalho.Reuse content