Cristiano Ronaldo equalizes the European record of goals with a hat trick

Cristiano Ronaldo's sensational free-kick in the 88th minute completed his hat-trick and secured a crucial 3-3 against Spain in the process.
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Cristiano's hat-trick Ronaldo put him at the level of Ferenc Puskas for more international goals by a European player, while also reaching several milestones in the World Cup in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain in Sochi, Russia, on Friday.

Ronaldo scored his 82, 83 and 84 goals in his career for Portugal to match Puskas, who played for Hungary from 1945 to 1956 and for whom FIFA has named his goal of the year.

Among players from all continents, Ronaldo now only follows Ali Daei, who scored 109 goals for Iran from 1993 to 2006.

Ronaldo had twice given Portugal the lead with goals in the first half – a penalty earned and a howler – but Diego Costa equalized for Spain with a goal in each half and Nacho Fernandez put the 2010 champions ahead, before the Portuguese star gave a free kick in the 88th minute and buried him in the background of the network.

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A The 33-year-old Ronaldo also became the oldest player to score a treble in the World Cup, breaking the record of Dutch forward Rob Rensenbrink, who was close to 31 at the 1978 World Cup.

"I'm very happy "he said after the game. "This is the product of many years of work, people have always believed in me and I work hard for my country."

The hat trick was also the 51st of Ronaldo's career for clubs and countries, but the first time his team could not win. However, Ronaldo said he thought the draw was a "fair result."

"The World Cup has just started, we can go through this group stage, we know it will be difficult, but we have to concentrate on each match, and go match by match," he added.

"We are not the favorites, but we are candidates, we are going to do the best we can, we want to try to beat Morocco and try to advance to the next stage, the team is doing everything very well".

Ronaldo's personal success came in an event in which he previously struggled to be at his best, as he matched his goal tally of his 13th World Cup previous combined appearances.

But, like his direct free-kick in the 88th minute against Spain, Ronaldo's three previous goals were also late in the game. He became the fourth player in World Cup history with at least four goals in his career in the 80th minute or later, joining Gerd Muller and Roberto Baggio, who have five, and Gary Lineker.

With his first goal of the day, a penalty in the fourth minute, Ronaldo became the fourth player to score in four different World Cups, joining Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.

He also became the first player to score in eight major tournaments in succession after hitting the goal in each of the last four European Championships.

At an average of 20.7 yards away, Ronaldo's three goals also came from a greater distance than any of the 27 hat tricks since the 1966 World Cup.

Ronaldo's hat trick was the third for Portugal in a World Cup, but the first since 2002, and tried to divert most of the credit to his teammates.

"It's a record in my sports career, but the most important thing for me is what the team has done," said Ronaldo. "We have played against one of the favorite teams to win this World Cup and we have won twice, although in the end we finished with the draw."

"We are very happy because the game was about to end." when we could achieve the draw in three goals. We have to give credit to what the team has done. It was a very competitive match. Now we have to think about the next match, which will also be difficult. "[19659009] But Portugal's coach, Fernando Santos, gave credit for what he should point out:" I've said it many times, Cristiano is the best in the world. "

The moment could not have been better for Ronaldo, since his heroism came only hours after multiple reports, said that his representatives reached an agreement with the Spanish authorities to pay a fine of 18.8 million euros ($ 21.8m) with a suspended prison sentence of two years in a case of tax evasion.

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