'The shooter' Goncalo Ramos enthralls fans with 1st World Cup 2022 hat-trick as Portugal decimate Switzerland
Portugal's new hero Goncalo Ramos, tasked to fill legendary striker Cristiano Ronaldo's shoes, fired the first hat-trick of the Qatar World Cup 2022 during their 6-1 victory over Switzerland. Fernando Santos' men will now face Morocco in the quarter-finals.
Goncalo Ramos, Portugal's new hero, scored the first hat-trick of the Qatar World Cup 2022 as Fernando Santos' men registered an emphatic 6-1 victory to knock Switzerland out of the showpiece tournament and set up a quarter-finals clash against Morocco.
Leaving Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for Portugal's first knockout game of the competition raised more than a few eyebrows. However, Santos was perfectly justified when his 21-year-old replacement fired a sensational hat-trick as part of a genuinely dominant performance.
In his first-ever start for Portugal, Benfica forward Ramos, tasked to fill the gigantic boots of iconic striker Ronaldo, scored Portugal's opening goal from a tight angle inside the area in the 17th minute of the clash. And it was not long before 39-year-old Pepe made it 2-0 with a thumping header from a corner.
After halftime, Ramos made the night even more remarkable by scoring his brace with a close-range strike, almost definitely sending Portugal into the quarter-final. Raphael Guerreiro added a fourth goal before the hour mark with a skillfully performed strike high into the roof of the net. The play was fluid and free-flowing.
Then, Manuel Akaji of Manchester City scored a consolation goal for Switzerland after finding himself unmarked at the back post from a corner in the 58th minute of the game. However, Ramos sealed his big night with a hat-trick in the 67th minute after being set up by a rapid exchange of passes in the penalty area.
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo entered the game with 15 minutes remaining and scored less than ten minutes later, but he was unfortunate because he was far offside. A fantastic night for the Portuguese was concluded with a stunning goal from substitute Rafael Leao, sparking massive jubilation among fans.
However, Goncalo Ramos' first hat-trick for Portugal and a first hat-trick at the Qatar World Cup 2022 swept fans off their feet. Nicknamed 'O Pistoleiro', which means 'The Shooter' in Portuguese, enthusiasts could not stop praising the young gun, with some even suggesting that he could be a catch in the upcoming January window.
Former England legend Gary Linekar said, "What an incredible night for Goncalo Ramos. With all the pressure of replacing one of the footballing greats, he scores a hat-trick. Remarkable."
"Gonçalo Ramos - take a bow. He becomes the first player to score a hat-trick on his first WC start since Miroslav Klose for Germany in 2002," noted another Twtter user.
A third user commented, "Gonçalo Ramos came into this game against Switzerland as Ronaldo’s replacement and had only played 33 minutes of international football. He needed 67 minutes to score the first hat-trick of this World Cup. Wow! Parabéns. He is just 21 years."
Here's a look at how football enthusiasts reacted to Ramos' remarkable night that fired Portugal to the quarter-finals of the Qatar World Cup 2022: