Goncalo Ramos: who is Portugal World Cup hat trick hero vs Switzerland, who does Ronaldo replacement play for?

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Portugal recorded an emphatic 6-1 victory against Switzerland in the Qatar 2022 round of 16 match

Before kick off, all the talk was about the controversial decision to bench all-time-record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo and the effect it would have on the team’s morale heading into an important clash against Switzerland. It was the first time that Ronaldo had been dropped for Portugal in a major tournament since Euro 2008.

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However, a new man was writing the full-time headlines and Ronaldo’s replacement Ramos rewarded his manager with an excellent display on his first competitive start for his country. The 21-year-old Benfica star seized his chance to shine and produced an excellent hat-trick and an assist during an emphatic 6-1 victory over Switzerland.

Ramos has become the first player to score a hat-trick on his first World Cup start since all-time leading goalscorer Miroslav Klose in 2002. He is also the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup knockout game since Czechoslovakia striker Tomas Skuhravy back in 1990.

Portugal produced their most devastating performance of the tournament so far and showed their credentials as World Cup contenders.  Given Ramos’ influence in the last game, it seems likely he will continue to keep his place in the team for the upcoming game against Morocco.

But who is Portugal’s new star Goncalo Ramos and could he be one of the breakout stars of the tournament in Qatar 2022?

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Who is Goncalo Ramos?

Goncalo Ramos is a striker who currently plays in the Primeira Liga for Portuguese giants Benfica.

Ramos is a product of the Benfica academy which has produced a number of notable talents in recent years such as Joao Felix, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo and Renato Sanches. Ramos began his youth career at Benfica in 2013 at the age of 13 and built up a reputation as a rising star in the academy.

Ramos was a member of the under-19 Portugal team which finished runners-up in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in 2019 - a tournament in which he finished top scorer with four goals. Two years later, Ramos was also a member of the team which finished runners-up of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Who does Goncalo Ramos play for?

Goncalo Ramos was a prolific striker for Benfica’s B team and emerged as a first team prospect in 2020 at the age of 19. Ramos was largely a peripheral figure for Benfica and was used sparingly as a substitute in the league and cup competitions by manager Jorge Jesus and caretaker boss Nelson Verissimo.

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Ramos competed for a first team place during the 2021/22 campaign and was largely seen as the back up striker to Uruguayan forward Darwin Nunez.

Darwin Nunez completed a move to Liverpool in the summer of 2022 which has resulted in further first team opportunities for Goncalo Ramos this season. The 21-year-old has seized upon these opportunities in fine fashion and is currently the leading goalscorer with nine goals in his opening 13 games.

The Portuguese giants have also been in fine form in the Champions League this season and Ramos has formed an excellent partnership with David Neres which helped Benfica progress to the knockout stage as group leaders ahead of both PSG and Juventus.

Ramos was rewarded with a call up to the World Cup squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and scored on his debut during a 4-0 win in a pre-tournament friendly against Nigeria in November. His hat-trick in the FIFA World Cup against Switzerland makes him Portugal’s youngest World Cup goalscorer since his team mate Cristiano Ronaldo in 2006.

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