Cristiano Ronaldo started the game on the bench. A first since 2008 at a major tournament, ending a streak of 31 spells with Portugal. It must be said that Fernando Santos, the Lusitanian coach, did not appreciate the remonstrances of CR7 during his substitution against South Korea. A penalty that looked like a very risky bet, especially when we know the importance of the native of Funchal for the Seleção das Quinas.
But now his replacement, Gonçalo Ramos, managed to forget the five-time Ballon d’Or thanks to an XXL performance against Switzerland (6-1). The author of a hat-trick and a decisive pass, the Benfica player shone at the forefront of the Portuguese attack. Aside from his stratospheric stats, the 21-year-old impressed all observers. Despite the shadow of his elders hovering over him, he made everyone agree. His teammates also praised his performance at the end of the meeting.
His teammates praise his performance
In fact, all the journalists present at the Lusail Iconic Stadium asked the Portuguese players about the man of the match, Gonçalo Ramos, minutes after the final whistle. In particular, Bruno Fernandes and Otavio gave a joint interview about their teammate. Asked about the performance of the striker from the Portuguese selection, the two players, all smiling, joked about his situation at the club. “Goncalo Ramos? He needs to do more (laughs)” started midfielder for Manchester United before being taken over by fellow club FC Porto: “It would be nice if he left (from Benfica, editor’s note).”
Very accommodating, Bruno Fernandes even added a layer. “Now Otavio wants him to leave Benfica. He took a lot of our advice when we were playing cards, that’s why he’s doing this kind of performance.added the Red Devil in particular, just before his teammate in midfield confirmed his words: “Three goals, he hurt in front, he helped us a lot.”
Fernando Santos and Pepe put out the fire
Fernando Santos, for his part, tried to put out the fire, swearing that it was not a punishment but a choice. “Characteristics of the game, it’s different players” soberly, the Portuguese coach answered the question of why after the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo in the Portuguese eleven. Still asked about the possible problems that would be between him and the Portuguese star, Fernando denied Santos in the block. “I have already answered this question. There is no problem, we have been friends for many years. Everything is completely settled and he set the example of a true captain. concluded the Seleção das Quina strongman.
Finally, Joao Felix and Pepe wanted to highlight the collective after the excellent performance of the team as a whole. “Whether Cristiano is there or not, the important thing is the team. The team also plays well when Ronaldo is there.” commented the Madrilenian. Same story for Portugal’s historic centre-back: “He knows very well that the most important thing is ‘us’. What happened today is the coach’s choice and it must be respected.” A good way to end the controversy.