Portugal’s coach, Fernando Santos’ decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo against Switzerland was rewarded within 20 minutes as replacement striker Goncalo Ramos produced a stunning strike to score just his second international goal.

Ronaldo found himself watching on from the bench in the last-16 tie after leaving the pitch in anger against South Korea in Portugal’s final group stage game. It topped off a bad couple of weeks for the 37-year-old after his Manchester United contract was terminated following his drama-filled interview with Piers Morgan.

The Euro 2016 winners didn’t need Ronaldo though, as Ramos thundered in a near post shot to give his side the lead. The 21-year-old was playing just his fourth international match, and his first at a World Cup, and was overjoyed with the finish.

His teammates flocked to join him in amazement for the celebration too, but as the cameras panned to Ronaldo on the bench, it wasn’t clear his side had just taken the lead. He did join those running to celebrate with Ramos, but quickly put back on a serious face.

Despite leading in a World Cup knockout game, Ronaldo appeared to remain sturn faced in his warm-up top, and wasn’t seen with as much as a smile from the sideline, but Gary Neville addressed that, saying after the game: “It’s worth noting that in the first half there was a picture doing the rounds on social media looking like he was miserable on the bench after the first two goals.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.