- Ronaldo benched in 6-1 win over Switzerland
- Felix admitted surprise at decision
- But praised Ronaldo for his reaction
WHAT HAPPENED? Fernando Santos surprised everyone when he dropped the veteran forward for Portugal's last-16 matchup against Switzerland, where Ronaldo's replacement Goncalo Ramos scored a hat-trick in a thumping 6-1 victory. It seems that the shock factor even extended to the national team camp, although Felix underlined how the 37-year-old never made it an issue with the rest of the squad.
WHAT THEY SAID: “We were surprised, because seeing Cristiano on the bench is not something you’re used to," Felix said in an interview with Spanish outlet AS. "But it was the gaffer’s decision: he’s the one who calls the shots. Cristiano reacted really well, because we were all pulling in the same direction and creating positive vibes. His reaction was really good for the rest of us, because he looked to give the team confidence and make it clear that we were all in this together. It was really good for us and he just kept on being a real help in every way.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ramos' three-goal haul earned him a place in the quarter-final line-up once again at the expense of Ronaldo. But Santos' side bowed out to tournament overperformers Morocco, with the 37-year-old brought on in the second half to no avail. Now breaking records in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, Ronaldo's move didn't come as a surprise to Felix, who said: "There was nothing left for him to win in Europe. He’s written his name into the history books and now he’s going to write his name into the history books in Saudi Arabia."
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty ImagesGetty Images
DID YOU KNOW? Ramos scored more goals for Portugal in the World Cup knockout stages after 17 minutes (1) than Cristiano Ronaldo has in 514 minutes played in the competition's knockout rounds (0).
WHAT NEXT FOR FELIX? While his compatriot now calls Saudi Arabia his new home, the 23-year-old is set to be immediately reintroduced back into the action for Chelsea against West Ham on Saturday, following a three-game suspension.