Portugal star Goncalo Ramos’ links with Macarthur FC A-League player

As an ambitious and competitive 17-year-old scoring for fun while training with the Benfica B team, Goncalo Ramos’s older teammates were left asking how was he always there at the right moment.

Four years on, it’s a question his former Benfica teammate and now Macarthur FC striker Anthony Carter found himself asking again on Wednesday morning after the 21-year-old’s three-goal heroics in a World Cup round of 16 match against Switzerland following his promotion to the starting side at the expense of the one-and-only Cristiano Ronaldo.

Carter, who played and trained with Ramos while at the Portuguese club in 2018 and 2019, described the 21-year-old as “an extraordinary player”.

“He got promoted from the under 19s team to the B team,” he said. “When he first arrived he was actually a number eight, and the coach put him as striker. And … he just performed. He’s an extraordinary player, very, very good.”

“Goncalo, he’s always in the right positioning, the right timing,” Carter said. “He’s got that smell.”

“I think it’s an instinct thing. Of course, he works hard for it. You have to train for it, but it’s the smell of the goal, where the ball’s going to drop, the moment where the cross comes in [that is particularly impressive],” he said. “If you watch a lot of his goals this season at Benfica, a lot of them are in the box, and the way he enters the box … it’s about smell and sense.”

Macarthur FC striker Anthony Carter trained with Portugal’s Goncalo Ramos.

Macarthur FC striker Anthony Carter trained with Portugal’s Goncalo Ramos.Credit: Justin Setterfield/Getty; supplied

“I sent him a message after he scored saying congratulations. And he was that humble to reply as well.”

The culture at Benfica was competitive and that drove Ramos’ quest for superiority, Carter said.