• Cristiano Ronaldo did not start Portugal's last-16 game vs Switzerland
  • Portugal won the game 6-1 on Tuesday
  • Head coach Fernando Santos picked Goncalo Ramos ahead of Ronaldo in their starting XI

Cristiano Ronaldo's girlfriend Georgina Rodríguez has slammed Portugal head coach Fernando Santos for benching him in their 6-1 win against Switzerland.

Santos picked 21-year-old Goncalo Ramos ahead of Ronaldo in Portugal's starting XI in their Round of 16 fixture against Switzerland on Tuesday. Santos' decision did not backfire as Ramos, in his first World Cup start, recorded a hat-trick as the Portuguese side ended up winning the game 6-1 in Qatar.

Ronaldo, who is yet to clinch a knockout goal in the World Cup, managed to get just 16 minutes of play against the Swiss side.

While Rodríguez congratulated Portugal for their victory in the last-16 round, she lashed out at Portugal boss Santos for not starting "the best player in the world" Ronaldo.

"Congratulations Portugal. While the 11 players sang the anthem, all eyes were on you. What a shame not to have been able to enjoy the best player in the world for 90 minutes," wrote the companion of the Portuguese star. The fans did not stop asking for you and shouting your name. May God and your dear friend Fernando continue to hand in hand and make us vibrate one more night," wrote Rodríguez in an Instagram post.

When Portugal went 4-1 up in the first half, the Lusail Stadium crowd was loudly chanting "Ronaldo! Ronaldo!" for the former Manchester United forward to enter the game. The cheers also turned into boos directed at Portugal head coach Santos for ignoring their pleas.

Wearing a yellow substitute bib in the dugout, Ronaldo appeared to be expressionless as the crowd called for him. When the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was finally sent onto the field in the 72nd minute, the crowd erupted. Pepe wrapped the captain's armband on Ronaldo's bicep before he jogged onto the field.

This was the first time since 2008 that Ronaldo did not start for Portugal at a major tournament, ending a fine 31-game streak.

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and his partner Georgina Rodriguez (right) announced the death of their baby son on Monday

After the match on Tuesday, Santos cleared that his decision to not start Ronaldo was just tactical.

"I already explained it (the situation surrounding Ronaldo being dropped), I won't explain it again. They are different players. It was game strategy, and all the players are different, I also launched Dalot, Raphael, and however, Cancelo is also a fabulous player. It was what I thought that we would need for this match against Switzerland," Santos told reporters after Portugal's 6-1 win," said Santos.

Portugal's quarter-final match in the 2022 World Cup is against Morocco on Saturday.