Ronaldo Starting From the Bench?
Portuguese football fans lived an evening of football that won’t be forgotten. Hours before the game, it sounded like Ronaldo was living some kind of ongoing nightmare, now repeating its pattern in the national team, just like the horrid days he lived in the UK prior to the World Cup.
But that was an unlikely or very unexpected scenario before the tournament. Ronaldo is the leader of this team, and many see Fernando Santos as irrelevant, with Ronaldo being the true leader and almost coach of the team.
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It’s fair to say that occasions from the past when CR7 has stood by the side of the coach giving instructions to the team after being subbed have contributed to this notion.
And after another unpleasing substitution, Ronaldo complained about Fernando Santos. Few could believe that the Portuguese coach would actually bench Ronaldo in the Round of 16 of the World Cup against Switzerland. But he did it. And the result couldn’t be crazier.
Gonçalo Ramos: Hat Trick as a 21 in a World Cup?
What if the coach was beyond lucky. What if a young attacker, 21, could score a hat trick when replacing Ronaldo for a stupid fight with the coach?
And guess what: his hat trick would account for only 50% of the goals of Portugal in the historic victory over the Swiss team?
All these things happened yesterday. Switzerland, a notable team in the history of the World Cup because of the way they defend, now marked by an impressive loss involving six goals.
Portugal and their Chances to Win the World Cup
Portugal surely gained traction with this victory and they were lucky enough to see their neighbours and rivals Spain losing to Morocco, which means they have an accessible path towards the semi-finals.
Then they would have to be brave, to beat France, for example. But they did just that in the 2016 Euros final!
And if they get to be in the final, then it’s only one game and anything could happen.
Portugal started the World Cup without that much brilliance in their performances, and they almost dropped points against Ghana due to a stupid mistake in the last moments of the game.
Sometimes, it takes a little bit of luck and some amazing, unbelievable stories to lead you across the way towards a World Cup final.
It certainly happened before at top-level football.
Just in this century, we’ve witnessed amazing stories like the Euro 2004 title of Greece against Portugal, and the Leicester title of the Premier League a few years ago at the club level.
When Ronaldo was announced as a benched guy to this game against Switzerland, reportedly many fans across the globe didn’t even watch the beginning of the match. Ronaldo has fans that care a lot about him and little about Portugal as they are foreigners. It must be like that because we only have 11 million Portuguese citizens in the world, and hundreds of millions of Instagram followers following CR7.
However, it turned out to be perhaps the best performance ever of Portugal without Ronaldo in the last decade.