Knockout bow beyond Ramos' 'wildest dreams' but hat-trick hero unsure of quarter-final role

By Sports Desk December 06, 2022 106

Goncalo Ramos is unsure if he will be picked ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo again in Portugal's World Cup quarter-final after a last-16 experience beyond his "wildest dreams".

The Benfica striker was a surprise choice from the start in Tuesday's game against Switzerland but justified his selection by hitting a hat-trick in a 6-1 rout.

The pre-match focus was on Ronaldo's demotion to the bench, but Ramos hogged the limelight once the match kicked off.

Even starting seemed improbable for the 21-year-old, who made his international debut in November, let alone scoring three times.

"Not even in my wildest dreams I thought of being in the starting eleven in the knockout stages of the World Cup," Ramos said, but he does not know if he will keep his place for a last-eight meeting with Morocco.

The forward added to RTP: "These are matters that are not for me. I have to work to the fullest and then you see what's going to happen."

Ramos was named the player of the match and revealed Ronaldo's support in his post-match news conference.

"Honestly, in our team, no-one talked about [Ronaldo being dropped]," he said. "Cristiano as captain did as he always does, helped us, encouraged us, not only to myself but to my colleagues."

The level of Ramos' performance may have come as a shock to some, but not to team-mate Bruno Fernandes.

"If you've never heard about him, it's because people are not aware of the quality of the Portuguese league," the Manchester United man said.

"He has been doing really well in the Champions League, first in the group of PSG, so people should be aware of Goncalo, of his qualities.

"I'm really happy for him, because a hat-trick at his age is a big achievement. But for Goncalo and for everyone else, the most important thing is that we are in the quarter-finals against Morocco."

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Last modified on Tuesday, 06 December 2022 17:35
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