Beat that Messi! Red-hot Ronaldo lightens up Russia with sensational hat-trick

The Portugal captain was in lethal form as he helped his country to salvage a 3-3 draw against Spain on Friday night.

Ramos knew what to expect from such a goal machine, but little did he know that his fears were about to become painful reality.

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For so many years Ronaldo struck opponents with his lethal instincts with Ramos on his side, be it La liga, the Champions League or the Copa del Rey.

However, the Spain captain may have been left cursing his stars as his Real Madrid teammate played arguably his best game in a Selecao shirt to put Spain to the sword.

In 90 minutes Portugal and La Roja were inseparable, as both countries played out a pulsating 3-3 draw at the Olimpiyskiy stadium in Krasnodar. However, the real winner was Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 33-year-old proved once again that he can turn up whenever he wants, and lay waste to whichever opponent he so desires. There are those who have argued that most of Ronaldo’s international goals have come against either minnows or in less important matches.

However, on Friday the Real Madrid star reminded the world why he is one of the deadliest front men the game has ever seen.

Having started off Portugal’s journey with a fourth-minute goal – a penalty when he won and expertly converted – Ronaldo equally finished off in style, drilling home a wonderful free-kick which left David de Gea rooted to his post.

Although Diego Costa scored two brilliant goals of his own, with Nacho Fernandez also netting an amazing volley, the headlines are sure to be filled with Ronaldo’s name, and rightly so after such a delightful hat-trick.

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In a game where Portugal were almost out-thought and out-fought in every department, their captain stepped up and led by example.

The 2018 World Cup will be very key in determining which player wins this year’s Ballon d’Or and FIFA Best Player awards, but on tonight’s account Ronaldo has already stolen a march on his rivals.

It may be early days yet, but to become the first European player to score in eight international tournaments does not come by chance.

With Mohamed Salah battling with injury and Egypt starting the World Cup campaign on a losing note, it looks like this will be a tournament for Ronaldo and old foe Lionel Messi.

But the Portuguese has lightened up Russia, and the onus now lies with the Argentine to respond when the Albiceleste face Iceland on Saturday.

When Ronaldo scored his third goal on the night he raced to the bench hitting his chest and gesturing that he had arrived. Beat that Messi!

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