“Player 9” Cho Gue Sung Gets Sassy With Portuguese Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo

Cho said Ronaldo then cursed at him in Portuguese.

South Korean soccer “Player 9” Cho Gue Sung became an overnight superstar after making his World Cup debut in Qatar 2022.

His Instagram, originally at around 20K followers, now boasts 2.1M followers. | @whrbtjd/Instagram

At first, his “idol-like visual” put him on the radar, but it didn’t take long for his athletic talent to catch the attention of soccer fans worldwide. Then, by the end of Korea’s latest match against Portugal, Cho made headlines again: This time, for getting sassy on the field with Team Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

Cho (left) and Ronaldo (right) | Sports Chosun

According to Joongang Ilbo and Sports-G, Cho rushed Ronaldo off the field when the Portuguese player was substituted off in the 65th minute of the match. Seeing Ronaldo “take his time,” Cho grew impatient and said, “You fast, fast!” in English (assumed to mean, “Move faster!”).

| New York Post via Getty Images

When Ronaldo was substituted off, he was taking his time getting out of the way. So I rushed him, saying, ‘Fast! Fast!

— Cho Gue Sung

Photos from the match captured Ronaldo putting his finger over his lips, shushing Cho. The interaction, followed by the apparent “angry” Ronaldo, sparked curiosity; Then, following the match, Cho and Ronaldo both recalled the moment and revealed what actually happened.

| New York Post via Getty Images

Cho said he heard Ronaldo say, “Caralho” in Portuguese (English equivalent said to be “F*ck,” though Ronaldo meant it as “Shut up”). Cho is thought to have understood the swear word possibly because of his familiarity with the language, thanks to Team Korea’s Portuguese coaching staff.

Ronaldo shushing Cho. | Reuters

Then he told me, ‘Caralho.’ I do know what that means in Portuguese.

— Cho Gue Sung

ESPN also reported on the two players butting heads on the field, though the sports news website said Ronaldo was “insulted” by Cho. Regardless, Ronaldo told soccer fans, via the New York Post, that “There is no need for controversy. It’s the heat of the match. Whatever happens, things always stay on the pitch.”

Cristiano Ronaldo | The Athletic

‘What happened was before my substitution, the South Korea player told me to get off quickly. I told him to shut up as he doesn’t have that authority. There was no disagreement [with the coach],’ Ronaldo was quoted as saying.

— ESPN

Beating Portugal 2:1, South Korean players have advanced to the knockout rounds where Team Korea will face Team Brazil, the winner of the Group G.

Source: Joongang Ilbo, Sports-G, ESPN and New York Post

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022