How Portugal’s players reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo sitting out Switzerland’s win

How Portugal's players reacted to Cristiano Ronaldo sitting out Switzerland's win

Joao Felix, Pepe, and Goncalo Ramos were quick to dismiss any link between Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence and Portugal’s outstanding performance in the World Cup’s final 16.

After several bad performances and unwanted distractions, coach Fernando Santos shockingly pulled Ronaldo from the match against Switzerland.

Ramos, 21, scored a hat-trick on his World Cup debut in a 6-1 victory that demonstrated that Portugal is no longer dependent on its all-time leading scorer.

After the game, Ramos was the first to rally behind Ronaldo, stating, “He’s the captain, he’s the leader, and we always look forward to playing side by side with him.”

Another player who seemed to benefit from Ronaldo’s absence was Felix, who failed to score despite a fantastic showing.

“It was a fantastic game for the whole squad,” Felix said to RTP3. “We got off to a good start right away. We played an entire game, which made it more difficult for someone to defeat us.

“Whether Cristiano is present or not, the team matters.” When Ronaldo is present, the squad performs well.”

Veteran defender Pepe agreed and denied that Ronaldo was throwing a fit over the decision to dismiss him.

“He understands that the essential thing is ‘we,'” Pepe remarked. “What occurred today was the coach’s decision, and it must be honored.”

Pepe also made World Cup history when he became the oldest man to ever score in a knockout round game.

He rose to expertly head in a first-half corner, although he quickly praised hard effort on the training field.

“We’ve been practicing on that, and we were going to hit straight in the first corner,” he said. “I was at the right place at the right time.” “Our collaborative effort paid off.”