A poll on whether Gonçalo Ramos should start Portugal’s quarter final ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo is underway in the Portuguese media.
Portuguese news outlet a Bola are running their daily sports poll and today’s topic is the decision Fernando Santos has in front of him after Portugal’s thumping win last night.
Santos started the unproven Ramos in front of national hero Cristiano Ronaldo last night, a decision which carried a huge risk.
It proved to be an inspired call; Ramos opened the scoring and went on to score a wonderful hat-trick as Portugal demolished Switzerland by six goals to one.
It wasn’t just the goals that stood out, the young Benfica man’s relentless running was the foil to Santos’ men producing one of the performances of the tournament.
It has led to the Portuguese fans being in no doubt who should be starting up front against Croatia in the next round.
The poll has been running at over 90% in favour of Ramos all day and is not expected to drop with Ronaldo firmly out of favour after his petulance when being subbed off in the final group game against South Korea.
This is becoming an all too familiar feeling for Ronaldo, whose messy end to his Manchester United career included similar acts of disrespect towards to his boss and teammates.
Despite his ridiculous 118 goals for his country, the Portuguese public clearly feel the team operates better without him in the side.
The movement and link up in the Portugal side was frightening last night – a performance which stamped their arrival at the tournament and underlined their credentials as potential winners.
It would be another brave call from Santos to omit Ronaldo from the eleven against Morocco, given his pedigree and impact in the dressing room.
However, last night’s performance coupled with the backing of the Portuguese fans, CR7 may have to settle for a cameo role in the rest of the tournament with Portugal looking much more fluid without the ageing superstar leading the line.