LUSAIL, Qatar (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo was dropped from the beginning lineup for Portugal’s match in opposition to Switzerland on Tuesday within the spherical of 16 of the World Cup.
The transfer got here a day after his coach expressed frustration about Ronaldo’s angle within the final sport. Gonçalo Ramos, a 21-year-old ahead who made his worldwide debut three weeks in the past, made his first profession begin for his nationwide crew as Ronaldo’s alternative and scored a hat trick to steer Portugal into the quarterfinals with a 6-1 victory.
Ramos scored his first World Cup aim on his fourth contact of the sport within the seventeenth minute to present Portugal a 1-0 lead. Ramos scored once more within the 51st minute to present Portugal a 3-0 lead — Ronaldo celebrated the aim as he warmed up on the sideline with the remainder of the substitutes — and added his third aim within the 67th minute to steer Portugal.
The match marked the primary time Ronaldo didn’t lead his teammates onto the sector because the captain in Qatar, with Pepe taking on the armband. The 39-year-old defender then scored Portugal’s second aim, with Ronaldo working off the bench to hug the veteran close to one of many corners.
By the point Portugal had taken a 4-1 lead, the group at Lusail Stadium was loudly chanting “Ronaldo! Ronaldo!” for the star to enter the sport. The cheers then turned to boos directed at Portugal coach Fernando Santos for ignoring the pleas.
Ronaldo, sporting a yellow substitute bib within the dugout, was expressionless as the group referred to as for him.
The gang went wild when he lastly stood to enter the sport within the 72nd minute, with Pepe wrapping the captain’s armband on Ronaldo’s bicep earlier than Ronaldo jogged onto the sector. Ronaldo had a chance to attain within the seventy fifth minute, however his free kick hit the defensive wall.
He discovered the again of the online within the 83rd minute, however was flagged offside.
That is anticipated to be Ronaldo’s ultimate World Cup.
Ramos, who performs for Portuguese membership Benfica, made his debut for Portugal final month in a warmup sport in opposition to Nigeria and scored his first worldwide aim. He changed Ronaldo late within the opening World Cup match in opposition to Ghana, and once more in opposition to Uruguay.
Ramos has scored 21 targets this yr for Benfica.
João Cancelo, a fullback who began all three matches of the group stage, was additionally dropped from the beginning lineup.
Ronald’s benching got here after he confirmed apparent displeasure at being faraway from the sport in opposition to South Korea on Friday.
The 37-year-old striker opened the event with a aim in opposition to Ghana to change into the primary participant to attain in 5 completely different World Cups. However he was ineffective in Portugal’s ultimate two video games of group play and was pulled halfway by the second half of a 2-1 loss to South Korea.
Ronaldo’s physique language indicated the celebrity was aggravated at being taken out of the sport — one thing the Portugal coach remained silent about for practically three days.
Lastly in his Monday information convention, Santos conceded Ronaldo’s angle within the sport in opposition to South Korea was the one distraction — of many — that had pushed him too far.
Earlier than Portugal’s first match of the World Cup, Ronaldo minimize ties with Manchester United and is reportedly being wooed by a Saudi Arabian crew with the promise of an exorbitant paycheck, and a ballot in Portugal confirmed that followers in his house nation needed the celebrity dropped from the lineup.
“I didn’t like it, not at all. I really didn’t like it,” Santos stated Monday of Ronaldo’s poor angle at being taken out of the sport in opposition to South Korea. “We fixed that in-house and that’s it.”
Portugal defender Rúben Dias, in the meantime, pleaded with Portuguese media to assist “create unity” within the camp as a substitute of division. It was Portuguese day by day O Bola’s ballot that confirmed followers at house had uninterested in Ronaldo and most popular he didn’t play in opposition to Switzerland.
It’s not unprecedented for Ronaldo to get much less taking part in time as a result of the getting older celebrity has light of late. He barely performed within the Premier League for United by the primary half of the season, and Santos dropped him from the Portugal lineup for a Nations League sport in opposition to Spain in March.
With Ronaldo, Portugal has superior to the spherical of 16 of the World Cup in 4 of his 5 tournaments, however he’s by no means performed in a World Cup ultimate. Portugal in 2006 misplaced to France within the semifinals — the deepest Ronaldo has ever reached on the World Cup.
Though he’s scored in 5 tournaments, he has solely eight complete targets in 20 World Cup matches. His 118 targets in worldwide play is a world file for males, however Ronaldo has by no means scored within the knockout stage of the World Cup.
Lionel Messi, Ronaldo’s biggest rival through the years, has scored three targets thus far on this World Cup and helped Argentina attain the quarterfinals. Messi has 9 profession World Cup targets, and like Ronaldo, has by no means gained the event.