Portugal hero Ramos 'never dreamt' of World Cup hat-trick
Portugal forward Goncalo Ramos celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round-of-16 match against Switzerland at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha, on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)

DOHA, Qatar (AFP) — Portugal's hat-trick hero Goncalo Ramos said he had not even dreamt of starting a World Cup knockout match, let alone scoring three in his first start in the tournament.

Ramos was handed a start ahead of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo and rewarded coach Fernando Santos with a brilliant match-winning display.

"Not even in my wildest dreams did I think of making my first start in a World Cup knockout game and scoring three goals," he said.

"But we have to think game by game and prepare for the game [quarter-final with Morocco]. This result doesn't matter now. We're going to go all-out in the next game."

The 21-year-old striker was asked how the dressing room — and Ronaldo — had reacted to the surprise team selection from Santos.

"Honestly, no one in the team talked about it. Cristiano, as captain, did what he does; he helped, he talked to us, not only to myself but to my teammates," he said.

Ramos said Ronaldo had been an example to him while growing up.

"Cristiano Ronaldo has always been a role model; he is an idol for many. I also like (Robert) Lewandowski and (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic," he added.

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