Until last Tuesday, absolutely nobody could imagine Cristiano Ronaldo as a substitute in an official match with his team, much less in a World Cup. But that is what has happened. The Portuguese star, today without a team, wore a yellow vest confirming what hours before the match against Switzerland was an open secret: he was relegated to the bench.
Fernando Santos, for a matter of strategy or not, decided to give the responsibility of the attack to a boy of only 21 years, who had barely added 10 minutes in the group stage: Gonçalo Ramos.
After that, various speculations arose as to why CR7 he had to wait his turn on the substitute bench if he wasn’t even injured. The main reason that was handled in the media is the friction that the Portuguese star had with his coach after the game against South Korea.
“I don’t know anything about what happened on the pitch, but I saw the footage and I didn’t like it at all. This is resolved internally and that is what has been done”, the Portuguese coach had said in the previous match against Switzerland. Was it a punishment? Only the protagonists know.
Be that as it may, the decision was already made. Christian He appeared with his yellow vest and, despite the fact that the starting team was singing the National Anthem in the center of the field, all the cameras and flashes were pointed towards where he was: on the bench. This, of course, changed during the game, when Goncalo Ramos began to attract all that attention with goals.
Gonçalo Ramos starting instead of CR7?
Before the Swiss, Goncalo Ramos he shone as if he had the experience of a veteran with more than one World Cup on him. He showed all the desire he has to succeed with his team and left everyone speechless with his wonderful display on the pitch. In short, his performance was exceptional.
In a matter of minutes (74′), goncalo did everything Christian he could not do in the three games he played in Qatar 2022 previously: .
CR7For his part, he just entered the duel against Switzerland just when his new competitor in the position had to leave. A bit late, anyone would think, but at least he had a few minutes to take advantage of the favorable scenario for his team and score. Unfortunately, he couldn’t fulfill his wish…he barely touched the ball.
“Perhaps, in the previous game I could have given Cristiano more minutes. The match was already settled. Leaving such an important player on the bench that he is saying goodbye to the national team when you already have the game resolved… obviously there are internal problems within the national team that I think is the reason why Cristiano is not playing “says the Argentine journalist Veronica Brunati from Telemundo Sports.
With the positive figures of goncalo and the adverse context for Christianwho is not having a good time in football, the most logical thing is for the 21-year-old forward to continue in the starting lineup, but that does not depend on him, but rather on his coach.
“I think Gonçalo Ramos has to play because of the level he is showing in this World Cup”
For some, bouquets should be headline above Cristiano Ronaldo; for others, no. .
“Gonçalo must be the starter because of the 3 goals and the confidence he has. That in the World Cup is fundamental”says the Paraguayan journalist Marcelo Burgos from Channel 13.
The competition is there, on the table of Fernando Santos. Whatever the Portuguese coach decides, it will always be for the well-being of the team, which has returned to the quarterfinals after 16 years.
“Ramos has gathered merits to be able to start. The three goals, the fact of appearing in a World Cup event with such responsibility, being Ronaldo’s replacement in a knockout match, and responding as he responded… the facts are there. Merits and conditions he has shown in a much more than sufficient way. Nowadays, taking into account that this instance is a single game, it would not be a surprise if he is the starter “he says for his part Javier TabaresArgentine journalist and writer for ESPN.
Ramos and Ronaldo together?
Lately, Fernando Santos has gotten used to playing with only one point, being Cristiano Ronaldo the referent above. But now there’s a chance that CR7 play accompanied by Goncalo Ramos up front so as not to rule out anyone.
“It will depend on the coach to have them together from the start, but it would be a nice opportunity for Portugal to see them and in these instances”says Marcelo Burgos.
This would not be strange for the Portuguese coach, who has used two wingers in his scheme before. In fact, there are many times that Santos has used the 4-1-3-2 tactical system (mainly) directing the Portuguese, bringing together Christian with the remembered Nani above (although with different functions).
Precisely that formation allowed Portugal to consecrate itself in the Eurocopa in 2016. Why not repeat that formula now in Qatar 2022? It could help, but it will be very difficult to experiment in these instances with an already established scheme. In addition, everything will depend on the rival he faces (Morocco) and how Fernando Santos sets out the game.
“All footballers can play by sharing a position or area on the pitch. The issue is the previous work that can be done, the understanding that they can show, what the coach wants if he puts two strikers with similar characteristics and, above all, the rival and what he offers”says Javier Tabares.
“If the Portuguese coach considers that by characteristics, by performance, by level and even by what they can generate in the opponent, it is a good idea that Cristiano and Goncalo Ramos can play together, of course he is going to place them. I think they can coexist in Portugal’s attack”Add.
The last word will be Fernando Santos.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.