Portugal registered a historic win over Switzerland in the round of 16 of the FIFA World Cup 2022 with a 6-1 victory earlier in the Lusail Stadium. But despite the thrilling match, it is a night that Cristiano Ronaldo will yearn to forget and dislodge from his memories.
A viral video has been doing some rounds on social media, which shows the Portuguese legend walking off the pitch after the final whistle, while his teammates celebrated the victory.
Manager Fernando Santos had shocked the world by benching Ronaldo in the crucial match and instead starting the rookie Goncalo Ramos, who would play his first match as a starter for Portugal in the World Cup to fill in Ronaldo’s shoes.
However, Ronaldo’s dropping from the starting eleven was not a blunder and proved a very calculated risk by the Portuguese manager. Ramos, who is only 21-year-old, scored the first hat trick of the 2022 edition of the tournament. He has now scored three goals in the knockout stages, more than Ronaldo himself.
Ramos’ spectacular performance in the game and accurate spot-less finishes, which Ronaldo was known for, grabbed the attention of every viewer and proved why he was chosen in his stead.
The stadium had been roaring “RONALDO! RONALDO!” while the demolition of Switzerland was still in process on the pitch. Ronaldo was finally able to land as a substitute in the match with only 17 minutes to go, and his team was already ahead with a 5-1 lead.
With his lacklustre performance, he managed to net the ball into the goal post once, but it got ruled out as offside.
Rumours have it that Cristiano was dropped by the head coach owing to his blatantly rude behaviour after his substitution against South Korea.
But after the end of the match, Santos denied any such rumour that Ronaldo was dropped off because of his poor attitude.
After enjoying the demolishing victory and a historic entry to the quarterfinals, Santos spoke to the sources:
“I already explained it; I would not explain it again. They are different players. It was game strategy, and all the players are different; I also launched Dalot, and Raphael; however, Cancelo is also a fabulous player. It was what I thought that we would need for this match against Switzerland.”
“There is no problem between Fernando Santos and the captain of the national team (Cristiano); we’ve been friends for many years. Players make decisions. Things don’t affect us. I already explained that part was completely resolved, and he set a great example of a great captain,” he went ahead to shoo away any new controversy.