Has Ronaldo been replaced in Portugal’s starting XI?

Cristiano Ronaldo is, without a doubt, a once-in-a-lifetime player. Ronaldo has been known for his hard work, talent, and achievements throughout his career. Numerically, Cristiano is the best goal scorer of all time, leading every other player with 813 goals.

Ronaldo is undoubtedly the greatest player Portugal has ever had. He is also their highest-ever goal-scorer on the international stage. He made his international debut against Kazakhstan in 2003 and later scored his first goal eight months later in a 2-2 draw against Sweden. If you want to know about Can Mbappe pass Messi?, click here.

 The Euro Championship and UEFA Nations League winner has scored a total of 118 goals for Portugal. He is seconded by the legendary Pauleta, who scored 47 goals.

Recent struggles

It has been a trying time for 37-year-old Ronaldo’s career, with the veteran approaching the twilight of his playing days. First, his Manchester United career ended in acrimony following criticism of the club in the media. This was after he lost playing time under Erik ten Hag due to low performance.

At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Ronaldo has not been in his best form either, scoring just a penalty against Ghana in the group stage. Against Uruguay, Ronaldo thought he had a claim of a Bruno Fernandes cross that went in, but his claim was dismissed after review. However, in their last group stage against South Korea, he lost favor with Portuguese coach Fernando Santos.

Ronaldo did not respond well to Fernando’s decision to sub him out, a situation similar to his recent controversies at Manchester United and one to which Santos expressed his disapproval. In the round of 16 match against Switzerland, Fernando Santos did what was previously unthinkable, at least going as far back as 31 games.

Before Euro 2008, he excluded Ronaldo from Portugal’s starting eleven for the first time for a while. 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos was started instead of 37-year-old Ronaldo, and Portugal got an emphatic 6-1 victory.

Perfect replacement?

In his 4th game for Portugal, Goncalo Ramos was exceptional in his first World Cup start. The Benfica forward stole the show scoring three goals and assisting one. On the same night that he scored the first hat trick in Qatar, he became the second player to score a hat trick in his first World Cup start. He also became the youngest player to score a hat trick in the tournament. Scoring three goals put Ramos second after Mbappe, tied at three goals with big names like Messi in the race for the golden boot.

Scoring goals is instrumental in winning football matches; in their quest to win the World Cup for the first time, the Portuguese need goals. That is exactly what Goncalo has brought to the table. Will they start him instead of Ronaldo moving forward?

Can any of the other brilliant goal scorers challenge Mbappe for the golden boot?

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