Portugal boss Fernando Santos decided to leave superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for Portugal's Round of 16 World Cup clash against Switzerland. Young striker Gonçalo Ramos took over and scored a hat-trick in Portugal's dominant 6-1 victory. As a result, numerous media outlets were quick to mock Ronaldo for having been on the bench while the youngster made history.

SPORTbible pointed out that Ramos now has more World Cup knockout stage goals than Ronaldo in his first ever starting opportunity.

ESPN was also quick to point out that Santos had decided to bench Ronaldo and "replace" him with Ramos in a move that "paid off" for Portugal.

Spanish publication Marca also said: "Clearly, this decision to leave Ronaldo out of the game was what the team needed."

B/R Football also made a dig at the 37-year-old by pointing out how well Portugal's youngsters have been performing during this tournament.

21-year-old Ramos made history by being the youngest player since Brazil legend Pele to score a hat-trick at the World Cup.

Despite all the shade from the media, Portugal fans made it clear that they have not turned their backs on Ronaldo. When Santos finally called him up as a substitute to replace Joao Felix in the 73rd minute, the stands erupted with fans chanting Ronaldo's name.

Fans were clearly excited to see Ronaldo back on the pitch. Away from the stadium, they also slammed the media outlets for the shade that had been thrown at the Portuguese captain.

Many pointed out that Portugal would not have made it into the World Cup had it not been for Ronaldo's dedication over the years. Others also said that no one would have been interested in the Portugal national team except for the Portuguese themselves if Ronaldo had not lifted their profile.

Fernando Santos now has a big decision to make when Portugal faces Morocco in the quarterfinals. He will need to make a call on which player to start, and he stands to face a lot of criticism if either decision does not translate to the desired results.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo has rarely been out of the spotlight at the World Cup in Qatar