Coach Zinedine Zidane replaced the Portugal international with Real Madrid leading 2-1 against Las Palmas 18 minutes from time, but an unhappy Ronaldo watched from the bench as Sergio Araujo equalised to ensure Real dropped points for the second time in four days.
“I have to take him off sometimes and tonight we did it,” said Zidane.
“That isn’t going to change what we are going to do continue to do.”
At the forefront of Zidane’s mind was Madrid’s huge Champions League clash away to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.
However, Ronaldo endured a poor night in front of goal as he fluffed a great chance from Alvaro Morata’s cut-back before halftime and fired straight at Javi Varas in the build-up to Madrid’s second goal.
“We have a game on Tuesday and I thought it was the time to take him off, 20 minutes from the end, thinking about Tuesday,” added Zidane.
“I know he always wants to play and always wants to stay on the field, but I also have to think about the players and for me it was best to rest and think about Tuesday.”
Ronaldo has completed 90 minutes just twice this season, though, as he was also replaced early on his return from a knee ligament injury against Osasuna earlier this month and missed last weekend’s win at Espanyol due to illness.
Real’s lead over Barcelona at the top of the table now stands at a solitary point having failed to bounce back from a 1-1 draw with Villarreal on Wednesday that snapped a 16-game winning streak in La Liga.