Cristiano Ronaldo has finally arrived at a World Cup. Sure, he’s scored at the last three tournaments, but the goals came against inferior competition. The Ronaldo hat trick vs Spain was one of the Portugal striker’s greatest moments for his country, as the Iberian derby finished in a 3-3 draw on Friday in Russia.
In the past, Ronaldo has been a major factor for his country, but not a major goal scorer in the world’s biggest tournament. He helped Portugal win the Euros in 2016, but if we’re being honest Portugal was extremely lackluster in the group stage and was fortunate to advance into the knockout rounds. He was also injured in the final.
Ronaldo scored a single goal in the last three World Cups, but they came against Iran, North Korea and Ghana — not exactly a who’s who of international soccer.
Cristiano Ronaldo World Cup Goals
2006 vs Iran
2010 vs North Korea
2014 vs Ghana
2018 vs Spain
One of these is not like the others.— Travis Yoesting (@TravisYoesting) June 15, 2018
But all that changed on Friday in the highly anticipated match between Iberian rivals. The first half included two Ronaldo goals, the first on a penalty kick he drew and the second on a David de Gea howler. After two equalizers from Diego Costa and Nacho giving Spain a lead with the goal of the day, it was Ronaldo’s turn to equalize.
In the 88th minute with the clock winding down on Portugal’s chances at getting something from the match, the Ronaldo hat trick vs Spain was completed with this exquisite free kick, leaving de Gea no chance.
#MundialTelemundo ¡Un pedazo de gol! Así narra @AndresCantorGOL el "Hat-trick" de @Cristiano para el empate de #POR sobre #ESP pic.twitter.com/FuJVNrzL2n
For those that missed it (or didn’t want to click on the above links to the prior goals), here are the other two goals in the Ronaldo hat trick vs Spain.
#MundialTelemundo Así narró @AndresCantorGOL la anotación por la vía penal de @Cristiano para el 1-0 de #POR sobre #ESP pic.twitter.com/R4M5uAIoqL
#MundialTelemundo Con error de @D_DeGea así narró @AndresCantorGOL el doblete de @Cristiano para poner al frente a #POR sobre #ESP pic.twitter.com/WvR3T2KamS
Some might say Ronaldo flopped for the penalty, but there was definite contact and with VAR you can’t fault the referee for pointing to the spot. The second was just pure crap from de Gea, who some consider the best keeper in the world.
The Ronaldo hat trick vs Spain makes him the oldest player to score a hat trick in the World Cup at 33 years of age.
We can’t wait to see what Ronaldo does for an encore.