Goncalo Ramos said he had exceeded his “wildest dreams” by scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-1 victory over Switzerland in the World Cup round of 16 on Tuesday.
Ramos, who replaced Cristiano Ronaldo in Portugal’s lineup, struck in the 17th minute at Lusail stadium before adding two more goals early in the second half in his first international start.
“Not even in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be in the starting 11 in the knockout phase,” the 21-year-old Benfica forward said, reports Xinhua.
Ramos revealed that Ronaldo was one of his boyhood idols and praised the 37-year-old for his support.
“Cristiano as our captain did what he always does,” he said. “He helped us and he encouraged us – not only me but all of my teammates.”
Portugal will now turn their focus to Saturday’s quarterfinal against Morocco at Al Thumama stadium in Doha. It will be the European team’s first appearance in the last eight of the World Cup since 2006.
“We shouldn’t think too much about the result of this match because it will be a new game against Morocco that will start 0-0,” Ramos said.
“We have to take things one game at a time and focus 100% on Morocco without thinking about anything else.”