Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has detailed how Cristiano Ronaldo was once left “on the verge of tears” by manager Jose Mourinho during a huge row.
The Croatian star has a new autobiography coming out, some of which has been serialised with quotes in Corriere dello Sport.
This has seen Modric open up on an intriguing incident in which Mourinho singled out Ronaldo for huge criticism as he felt he wasn’t working hard enough for the team.
“I was surprised by Mourinho’s reaction. We were winning 2-0 in the Copa del Rey,” Modric said.
“Ronaldo did not chase the rivals on his throw-in and Jose was furious with Cristiano.
“The two fought for a long time on the field. After returning to the locker room at half-time, I saw Ronaldo desperate, on the verge of tears.
“He said, ‘I do my best and he continues to criticise me.’
“Mourinho came in and began to criticise the Portuguese for his responsibility during the game.
“They became so hot that only the intervention of the team-mates avoided a real fight between them.”
Given that the Portugal international was such an important player for Los Blancos for so long, it certainly seems harsh that Mourinho felt the need to take him up on what sounds like a fairly low-key incident.
Ronaldo ended up scoring a stunning 450 goals in 438 appearances for Real Madrid before his 2018 transfer to Juventus.
The 35-year-old also has five Ballon d’Or wins to his name, while his former team-mate Modric also picked up the prestigious prize in 2018.
Mourinho, meanwhile, led Real to the La Liga title during his time in charge at the Bernabeu, and has since had spells in charge of Chelsea, Manchester United and current club Tottenham.