About two hours before the Portugal national team advanced to the World Cup Round of 16 match against Switzerland yesterday (Tuesday), reports began to flow around the world that Cristiano Ronaldo would not start in the 11 of the Selecao.
If, in general, news like this becomes a headline, the fact that in the days after the game against South Korea, the behavior of the 37-year-old striker after being replaced, then the matter occupied the media even more.
Without him, Fernando Santos' team looked amazing and easily defeated their opponent 6:1.
The one who stole the show is 21-year-old Benfica striker Gonzalo Ramos - the man who replaced Ronaldo in the lineup.
Ramos scored a mighty hat-trick as further goals from Pepe, Rafael Guerrero and Rafael Laao completed a concert from the movies.
Ronaldo also got the focus on the bench when a herd of photographers tried to catch a shot of him during the national anthems and the TV director tried to absorb as much as possible what was going on during the game, until he came on to play in the 73rd minute.
After the match, quite a few media referred to the fact that Portugal provided a display even without its star.
AS wrote: "Portugal flew higher without Ronaldo", while marca added: "Portugal proved more frightening without Ronaldo".
The "Daily Mail" were also creative and stated: "There is no Ronaldo, no problem! Ramos scored a hat trick and completely justified the star's bench."
The photographers try to catch a frame of Ronaldo, yesterday, photo: Reuters
"You can see that Ronaldo was nervous by the way he behaved in the last few months. His team has a chance to succeed, and he needs to be a leader, regardless of his personal situation, but it's difficult for him," analyzed former Dutch player Nigel de Jong, "I don't think he is Able to put up with the fact that he doesn't play."
🚨 Cristiano Ronaldo walks 'straight off' pitch at full-time as Portugal players celebrate with fans pic.twitter.com/FxaRtrL8cL
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) December 6, 2022
Contrary to the media, Ronaldo's friends gave him the honor and praised him.
The scorer of the hat trick, Gonzalo Ramos, said after the game: "If I start the team in the next game, it's not something that depends on me. I have to continue to give my maximum and work hard for it and then we'll see what happens. Ronaldo talked to me like he talked to everyone. He's the captain and he Always tries to be the one who helps. He played great."
Pepe, who at the age of 39 became the second oldest player ever in the World Cup added: "Ronaldo knows very well that the most important thing is 'us'. The coach made a decision, and we must respect it."
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