Portugal got a massive victory in the Round of 16 against Switzerland. They defeated Switzerland by a 6-1 margin at Lusail Stadium. However, Portugal boss Fernando Santos benched Cristiano Ronaldo in this match, which made lots of noise surrounding Portugal. Instead of Ronaldo, the manager started Goncalo Ramos against Switzerland.
As Cristiano Ronaldo was benched, the manager made the debut of Goncalo Ramos on a big stage. And guess what? The newcomer didn’t disappoint the manager. In the 17th minute, Portugal took the lead as Goncalo Ramos found the net with a powerful strike.
After that, Portugal doubled their lead in the 33rd minute. This time, defender Pepe scored from Bruno Fernandes’ assist. However, Switzerland couldn’t return a goal in the first half. So, Portugal went to the break with a two-goal lead.
Returning from the break, Goncalo Ramos completed his first-ever hattrick for Portugal. He scored two more goals in the 51st and 67th minute to complete the hat-trick. Moreover, it is the first hat-trick in the Qatar World Cup.
Anyway, Raphael Guerreiro and Rafael Leao scored for Portugal in this match. Therefore, Portugal got six goals for the first time in this world cup. Manuel Akanji, however, returned a goal for Switzerland, but it helped nothing. In the end, Portugal beat Switzerland by a 6-1 margin and qualified for the quarterfinals.
Fernando Santos talked about Ronaldo
Portugal boss Fernando Santos talked about Cristiano Ronaldo after the match. He said the problems with Ronaldo have been solved. In the press conference, Santos said, “I think those issues [with Ronaldo] have been solved. I repeat myself from my previous press conference, it is something which is finished and solved.”
“We have to look at this player’s history, one of the best players in the world in terms of his goals scored and a captain. Therefore, I think all we have to do is think about the team collectively,” the manager added.
Fernando Santos has a close relationship with Ronaldo. He stated, “I have a very close relationship with him and always have, since he was 19-years-old at Sporting. Then he started to develop in the national squad, this relationship only develops.”
The boss also added, “We never misinterpret the human and personal aspect with that of manager and player. I will always consider my role that he is a very important player to have in the team.”