Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a goal when Portugal needed it most. Not only did Ronaldo tie Portugal’s opening match against Spain 3-3, the goal gave Ronaldo a hat trick. Ronaldo’s third goal came on a free kick at the 87′ mark. Ronaldo is still looking for his first World Cup, despite his long list of accomplishments. If he keeps this up, he just may have a chance. Fans likely witnessed the best World Cup game of Ronaldo’s career.
“Winning the World Cup is the best thing you can possibly achieve in your career because you represent your country and it is so difficult to win,” Ronaldo explained to The Sun (via Express). “So if we could do it, then for me it would be the maximum. To give a World Cup to Portugal would be the greatest dream of my life and mean that I would have won everything a player can aspire to win. Some people may think if I win the World Cup it would be time to retire, but I am ambitious and I still have a lot to give to this sport.”
According to Fox, Ronaldo became the oldest player to score a hat trick in the World Cup at 33. The last two World Cups also featured hat tricks. Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri scored three against Honduras in 2014. Germany’s Thomas Muller notched a hat trick in 2010 against Portugal.
Portugal takes on Morocco next on June 20. They most likely need to win one of their next two matches, and potentially get a result in the third game, depending on how things shake out over the next week. With his first match in Russia, Ronaldo has doubled his career goal total from three to six. Ronaldo had just one goal in each of his last three World Cups.
Messi and Ronaldo are arguably the two best players in the world, and both players are looking for their first World Cup. It might also be the last opportunity for both players as their status for the 2022 World Cup is uncertain.
Here’s a look at the highlights of all three goals.
Ronaldo’s 1st Goal vs. Spain
Ronaldo’s first goal came at just after the 3′ mark on a penalty kick. The goal was the first of the game by any team, and put Portugal up 1-0.
Ronaldo’s 2nd Goal vs. Spain
Ronaldo’s second goal came just before halftime, and gave Portugal a 2-1 lead at the break. Spain would come out on fire, and score two straight goals in the second half to take a 3-2 lead.
Ronaldo’s 3rd Goal vs. Spain
Just when it looked like Portugal would not be able to recover from Spain’s hot streak, Ronaldo knocked in a free kick at the 87′ to tie the match at 3-3 giving himself a hat trick. It was a critical goal for Portugal as the country is competing with Spain to win Group B. The tie keeps Portugal even with Spain at one point each. It is likely the most difficult match of the group stage for both teams.