- Cristiano Ronaldo applauded fans on his own before leaving the rest of his teammates on the pitch after the Switzerland match
- Portugal swept aside the Swiss in their round of 16 match with Ronaldo only playing a peripheral role
- Head Coach Fernando Santos later admitted that he liked the look of his team without his prolific forward
Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines once again despite only playing a few minutes in Portugal's high-profile victory over Switzerland.
Portugal beat Switzerland 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals and did so without their talisman forward and captain for a large part of the game.
Head Coach Fernando Santos made a tactical decision to leave him out of the starting XI and instead started 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos. The Benfica striker repaid that manager's faith by bagging the first hat trick of World Cup 2022.
Ronaldo was introduced in the 74th minute, much to the delight of the audience at Lusail Stadium, He made a few contributions, including getting the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside.
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Ronaldo applauds supporters
After the game, initial reports indicated that Ronaldo stormed down the tunnel without applauding the supporters. However, video footage spotted by Sports Brief shows Ronaldo did appreciate the fans on his own before walking off.
In the videos, Ronaldo is seen beckoning his teammates to follow him for a lap of honour. The rest of the team dilly dally, and Ronaldo decides to go alone. He applauds the roaring crowd before walking off the pitch, leaving the rest of the team on the pitch.
Ronaldo vs Tottenham Hotspur
The incident brings back memories of how he stormed down the tunnel during Manchester United's game against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford. For now, it looks like a long road back for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner after Santos appeared to admit that his side were more fluid without Ronaldo on the pitch.
Portugal play giant slayers Morocco in the quarterfinals on Saturday. The Atlas Lions knocked Spain out on post-match penalties.
Goncalo Ramos speaks
Sports Brief had earlier reported that Portugal's hat-trick hero Goncalo Ramos said he had not even dreamt of starting a World Cup knockout match, let alone scoring three in his first start in the tournament.
The 21-year-old striker was handed a surprise start ahead of five-times Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and rewarded coach Fernando Santos with a brilliant match-winning display.
Ramos was only two years old when Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal and has often spoken of his admiration for the 37-year-old.
Source: Sports Brief News