February 6, 2023

Portugal hero Goncalo Ramos claims Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘still an important’ player

Hat-trick hero Goncalo Ramos insists Cristiano Ronaldo is ‘still an important’ player for Portugal despite outshining his captain against Switzerland after replacing the dropped 37-year-old

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Goncalo Ramos says Cristiano Ronaldo is still an ‘important’ member of the Portugal squad despite being dropped to the bench for their last-16 clash with Switzerland. 

Ramos was selected ahead of the Portugal captain for Tuesday’s game as Fernando Santos made the decision to drop Ronaldo after he reacted angrily to being substituted against South Korea last Friday.  

The 21-year-old made the most of his first international start by scoring three well-taken goals which included a thunderous strike to get off the mark, and a lovely dinked finish to complete his hat-trick. 

Goncalo Ramos says Cristiano Ronaldo is still an ‘important’ member of the Portugal squad

Ramos helped Portugal win 6-1 and secure a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament

Ramos helped Portugal win 6-1 and secure a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament

Ramos replaced Ronaldo in the starting XI and scored three goals in their 6-1 win on Tuesday  

Portugal went on to win the game 6-1 – with Ronaldo coming off the bench to replace Joao Felix for the final 17 minutes.

As a result, Portugal have secured a quarter-final clash with Morocco – who caused another tournament upset by knocking Spain out.

Speaking after the game Ramos said: ‘Not even in my best dreams did I think I would be in the starting XI for the knockout phases.

Fernando Santos made the decision to drop Ronaldo after he reacted angrily to being substituted against South Korea last Friday

Fernando Santos made the decision to drop Ronaldo after he reacted angrily to being substituted against South Korea last Friday

Fernando Santos made the decision to drop Ronaldo after he reacted angrily to being substituted against South Korea last Friday

‘Regarding my expectations, we just need to take it one match at a time. Now we prepare for Morocco without thinking of any other games.

‘Cristiano Ronaldo is our leader. He’s the captain, he’s the leader and we always look forward to playing side by side with him.

‘He is my reference and an idol to many of us. Cristiano Ronaldo, [Robert] Lewandowski, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic – those players are my role models.’

Ronaldo came off the bench to replace Joao Felix for the final 17 minutes of the game

Ronaldo came off the bench to replace Joao Felix for the final 17 minutes of the game

Portugal went on to win the game against Switzerland 6-1 – with Ronaldo coming off the bench to replace Joao Felix for the final 17 minutes.

Asked about Ronaldo’s role within in the team, Santos said: ‘That is still something that has to be defined.

‘I have a very close relationship with him – I always have, I have known him since he was 19-years-old.

‘This relationship only develops, Ronaldo and I never interpret the human aspect of that of manager and player (in relation to) what we have to do during the match.

‘I will always consider in my role that he is an important player to have in the team.’

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