Milan: Fiorentina forward Juan Cuadrado was substituted after 24 minutes of the Europa League match against Dinamo Minsk because his mind was elsewhere, coach Vincenzo Montella said.
"He`s suspended on Sunday (against Cesena) so I tried to play him from the start. I saw that his mind wasn`t totally on the match, so I preferred to substitute him," Montella told reporters after Fiorentina`s shock 2-1 home loss to the Belarus team.
Cuadrado has been the subject of transfer speculation since he had an outstanding World Cup, helping Colombia to reach the quarter-finals. Although Fiorentina had already qualified for the knockout stage before the game, Montella was furious with the performance.
"It was an important match for me, I don`t like to lose even when I`m playing against my son," he said. "I take this seriously, I`m ashamed and I apologise to everyone.
“I`m afraid that I was unable to transmit what I wanted from this game. I expected more, because there is a clear difference between these two teams.”
Fiorentina are a modest ninth in Serie A where they have managed only 16 goals in 14 games. Despite Thursday`s defeat, they finished top of Europa League Group K.