Player Profile: Goncalo Ramos – Portugal’s hat-trick hero


Goncalo Ramos has catapulted himself into the headlines with a World Cup hat-trick, scoring three targets on his first worldwide begin to hearth Portugal into the quarter-finals.

The pre-game discuss centred across the resolution of Fernando Santos to drop Cristiano Ronaldo, however ended with little question over the choice after Ramos produced an explosive centre-forward efficiency in opposition to Switzerland.


Ronaldo’s response to being substituted within the earlier sport had irritated Santos, who selected to depart out Portugal’s document goalscorer in favour of Ramos. The 21-year-old had by no means beforehand began a sport for the nationwide facet and had simply 35 minutes of worldwide expertise, however took his likelihood in elegant trend.

Ramos’ alternative has come after a breakthrough season at Benfica in the course of the opening months of the marketing campaign. A product of the Lisbon facet’s infamous academy system, Ramos shot to prominence with a brace off the bench on his senior debut for the facet in 2020.

His quick-fire double in opposition to Desportivo das Aves got here after being launched within the Eighty fifth-minute and demonstrated that {the teenager} was able to replicating his prolific exploits at youth stage within the senior facet. Ramos had starred as Benfica reached the ultimate of the UEFA Youth League in 2019/20, ending the marketing campaign with a tournament-leading eight targets.


The next season, a run of 11 targets in 12 appearances for Benfica B earned Ramos his senior likelihood with the ahead handed a handful of alternatives within the Primeira Liga.

He earned a extra common position in 2021/22, a season which noticed the ahead rating seven targets in 17 league begins in Portugal’s high division. The academy product had struggled for normal minutes because of the presence of Darwin Nunez and Roman Yaremchuk over the season’s opening months and agitated for an exit in January as he sought constant alternatives.

Jorge Jesus’ exit as head coach and the arrival of Nélson Veríssimo as interim supervisor persuaded Ramos to stay, having labored underneath the latter with the Benfica’s B facet. A run of targets over the second half of the season noticed everlasting successor Roger Schmidt determine to position his religion in Ramos for the forthcoming marketing campaign.

Nunez’s high-profile sale to Liverpool and the exit of Yaremchuk to Membership Brugge noticed Ramos promoted to first-choice ahead at The Estádio da Luz, a task he has revelled in so far.

Ramos leads the race for the Primeira Liga’s Golden Boot after scoring 9 targets in simply 11 league fixtures. He started the marketing campaign with a primary senior hat-trick as Benfica thrashed FC Midtjylland within the UEFA Champions League’s third qualifying spherical, earlier than he impressed as the focus of Schmidt’s facet who’re unbeaten throughout 27 video games in all competitions this season.

Solely Jamal Musiala can match Ramos’ 9 league targets amongst gamers aged 21 and underneath throughout Europe’s high 5 leagues and Portugal this season. Ramos’ enchancment with common minutes is evident within the underlying statistics, along with his numbers for pictures (3.7), fouls gained (1.6) and aerial duels gained (2.2) per sport all elevated from final season.

Crucially, his elevated quantity of pictures has include high quality alongside amount. Ramos shot accuracy of 48.48% is just fractionally up from final season’s (47.06%) within the Primeira Liga, however the enchancment in his ending is evidenced with a conversion charge of 27.27% – greater than double the 13.73% he mustered in 2021/22.

Ramos’ goalscoring type caught the eye of Portugal supervisor Fernando Santos, who referred to as up the ahead for the primary time in September 2022. An everyday at youth stage, he shaped a part of the groups that reached European Championship finals at U-19 (2019) and U-21 (2021) stage.

Regardless of not making an look in September’s worldwide break, he was included in Santos’ squad for the World Cup. A pre-World Cup pleasant in opposition to Nigeria noticed Ramos mark his senior debut with a purpose and help.



After two transient cameo appearances off the bench within the group stage, Ramos was thrust into the facet for the last-16 conflict with Switzerland. Ronaldo’s omission quickly turned an afterthought, as Ramos justified his inclusion with a centre-forward masterclass.

He opened the scoring in Portugal’s rout of the Swiss with a thumping left-footed drive, the facility on the strike – coming off his weaker facet – catching Yann Sommer out at his close to submit. Ramos added the second with a poacher’s effort, as he received throughout his marker to steer dwelling Diogo Dalot’s cross on the close to submit.

The 21-year-old turned supplier after teeing up Raphaël Guerreiro for Portugal’s fourth, earlier than including the fifth himself with a composed chip over the onrushing goalkeeper to put in writing his identify into the document books.

He turned the primary participant to attain a hat-trick on his first World Cup begin since Miroslav Klose in 2002, whereas it was the primary knockout spherical treble at a World Cup since Tomáš Skuhravý in 1990.

Ramos additionally turned the youngest participant to attain a World Cup hat-trick in 60 years, whereas he was the youngest to take action in a knockout spherical sport since Pelé within the 1958 semi-finals.

Ronaldo’s substitute is now the discuss of a nation, along with his exploits in Qatar solely set to extend his price-tag as Ramos is linked with changing into Benfica’s subsequent huge export. An thrilling Portuguese era clicked in opposition to the Swiss, with Ramos, Joao Felix and substitute Rafael Leao the celebs of the following wave of expertise.

Portugal had been strong if unspectacular in the course of the World Cup’s group stage, however Ramos has reignited perception that Fernando Santos’ facet can problem to turn into champions.

Learn – Iconic Performances: A teenage Pelé conquers the world

Learn Additionally – 5 of the best goalkeepers in World Cup historical past

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The submit Player Profile: Goncalo Ramos – Portugal’s hat-trick hero first appeared on The Soccer Devoted. Supply –

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