World Cup 2022: Portugal Boss Reveals How Ronaldo Reacted After He Dropped Him vs Switzerland

World Cup 2022: Portugal Boss Reveals How Ronaldo Reacted After He Dropped Him vs Switzerland

  • Cristiano Ronaldo was not in Portugal's starting XI against Switzerland in the round of 16
  • The experienced striker was dropped to the bench in a bold move by boss Fernando Santos
  • Goncalo Ramos justified his inclusion in the starting position for Portugal with a hat-trick

Portugal boss Fernando Santos has opened up about Cristiano Ronaldo's reaction, after he benched him during their World Cup clash against Switzerland.

Santos stunned fans on Tuesday night, December 6, with his team selection for the crucial round of 16 tie staged at the Lusail Stadium.

The experienced tactician made a bold move when he named his starting XI by dropping Ronaldo to the bench.

Fernando Santos, Cristiano Ronaldo, FIFA World Cup, Qatar 2022, Portugal, Switzerland, Lusail Stadium, Goncalo Santos.
Portugal head coach Fernando Santos and substitute Cristiano Ronaldo during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match against Switzerland at the Lusail Stadium. Photo by Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

Santos replaced the veteran striker with youngster Goncalo Ramos - and the tactical move paid off - as Ronaldo's replacement went on to net a sensational hat-trick to help Portugal hammer Switzerland 6-1.

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While many thought Ronaldo was unhappy with the decision, Santos has come out to reveal that the former Manchester United star was calm with the move.

"We spoke before the game and he had no issue with my decision. He’s an example," Football Tweet quoted Santos as saying.

How Portugal sunk Switzerland

Meanwhile, the Selecao were in hot form during their meeting with Switzerland, as they secured a huge 6-1 win to progress to the quarter-finals.

The Santos-tutored side needed just 17 minutes to break the deadlock via Ramos, before Pepe doubled the advantage in the 33rd minute.

Ramos made it 3-0 shortly after the break, with Raphael Guerreiro getting his name on the score sheet shortly after.

Ramos completed his treble in the 67th minute and Rafael Leao completed Portugal's rout at stoppage time.

The Europeans are now scheduled to face off against Morocco in the last eight for a chance to reach the semis.

Goncalo Ramos speaks

Sports Brief had earlier reported that Portugal's hat-trick hero Goncalo Ramos had not dreamed of starting a World Cup knockout match, let alone scoring three in his first start of the tournament.

The 21-year-old striker was handed a surprise start ahead of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo and repaid coach Santos' trust 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.