World Cup shocker: Morocco knocks Spain out after Ramos’ hat-trick
Goncalo Ramos, the hat-trick hero for Portugal, claimed he had never even dared to imagine starting a World Cup knockout game, much less scoring three goals in his first start of the competition.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo was unexpectedly replaced by the 21-year-old attacker, who then gave coach Fernando Santos credit for the game-winning goal. It was not even in his wildest thoughts that he imagined making his first start in a World Cup knockout game and scoring three goals.
“However, we must consider each game individually and prepare for it (quarter-final with Morocco). This outcome is now irrelevant. In the upcoming game, we’ll give it our best.”
Ramos has frequently expressed his respect for Ronaldo, who made his Portugal debut when he was just two years old. The dressing room, as well as Ronaldo, were questioned about their reactions to Santos’ unexpected team decision at the Lusail Stadium.
“In all honesty, nobody in the team brought it up. As our captain, Cristiano did what he does: he assisted, he spoke with my teammates and I, “said he.
“Since the beginning, Cristiano Ronaldo has served as an inspiration to many. I also enjoy Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski “Added he.
Ramos, who had only played twice in the group stage, was making his fourth appearance for the national team. He only made his debut on November 17 against Nigeria in a pre-World Cup friendly, entering as a 67th-minute substitute and scoring the fourth goal in a 4-0 victory 15 minutes later.
The forward, who is Algarve-born, made his Benfica debut this season after receiving a promotion to the central striker position as a result of Darwin Nunez’s transfer to Liverpool. In 21 games across all competitions, he has scored 14 goals, quickly settling into his new position.
“Although forward is my preferred position, I was asked to support Darwin last year. It’s obvious that after he left, a spot became available for me. It’s wonderful to have the position I most enjoy now, “In a recent interview, he stated.
If he maintains his positive influence on this Portugal team against Morocco in the quarterfinal, he will undoubtedly become the target of the same big-money tactics that caused Nunez to depart. However, for the time being, all of his attention is focused on helping Santos’ already impressive side, and he isn’t even taking his starting position for granted.
“That is not something that worries me. I always put my all into my work, and hopefully that shows “said he.