- Cristiano Ronaldo was snubbed from the Portugal starting XI against Switzerland
- His replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a stunning goal for his side in the first half
- Ramos becomes the first Portuguese to score a World Cup knockout brace since 1966
Fernando Santos' decision to bench Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Cup round of 16 was rewarded, as replacement striker Goncalo Ramos netted a cracking goal against Switzerland.
The 21-year-old produced a stunning finish in 17th minute to give his team a 1-0 lead at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday night.
It was Ramos’ first goal for Portugal in the World Cup and his second international goal overall.
His first goal for his country came in a friendly against Nigeria on November 17, 2022, where Portugal clinched a 4-0 win.
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Ramos, who plays for Benfica in the Primeira Liga (the Portuguese League), has 14 goals and six assists for his club this season across all competitions. He is also the top scorer in his league, with nine goals in 11 appearances.
Ramos has scored 20 goals for Benfica overall in 45 appearances at the senior level.
A product of Benfica’s youth academy, he rose through the ranks and has established himself as one of the important names in the senior team.
Ronaldo benched for Switzerland clash
Cristiano Ronaldo was left on the bench for Portugal’s crucial Round of 16 clash against Switzerland, in the biggest team news of the day.
The new development came on the heels of reports that the Selecao manager Fernando Santos was displeased with the superstar for his gesture during the defeat to South Korea several days earlier.
On Friday, Ronaldo was withdrawn midway through the second half and while walking off, he put his index finger in his mouth as if gesturing to someone to keep quiet.
Fans praise Ramos
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that football fans have resorted to social media to laud Portugal newbie Goncalo Ramos following his superlative performance against Switzerland on Tuesday night.
The 21-year-old replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in the starting lineup in the round of 16 clash at Lusail Stadium.
And the Benfica forward made his mark at the World Cup in some style by scoring the tournament's first hat-trick against the European side.
Source: Sports Brief News