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Ronaldo scores hat trick, Portugal draws 3-3 with Spain

16 June 2018

He completed his hat-trick with a wonder strike from a free-kick in the 88th minute.

Most fans would expect Spain to beat those two teams quite comfortably, but it's hard to read into pre-World Cup friendlies - as the matches could have been used for tactical experimentation or as a physical workout for the players.

Fernando Hierro's first XI would always be closely scrutinised, as the former Real Madrid man had little time to assess his squad after replacing Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday.

Before that, Ronaldo had twice given his side the lead in the first half, only for Diego Costa to equalise each time for a Spanish side who performed admirably on a steamy night on Russia's Black Sea coast after a chaotic few days.

The match will be the second tie in Group B, with Morocco facing Iran earlier in the day. His return still doesn't make for Ronaldo-like reading - six in 14 - but with the opening goal he became the fourth player to score in four separate World Cups, joining Germans Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler and Brazil legend Pele.

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Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their second goal against Spain on Friday.

Ronaldo downplayed his sixth worldwide hat trick. "I've said it so many times: he's the best in the world and I hope in Qatar he will score again", Santos said.

However, as Spain looked set to close the game out, there was a late twist when the relentless Ronaldo struck home from 20 yards after being fouled by Gerard Pique.

But the excitement bubbled over into farce when Spain goalkeeper David de Gea made what is likely to be one of the most notable howlers of Russian Federation 2018.

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Rubiales was unhappy with the timing and the lack of transparency behind the announcement that Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid coach next season. However, captain Sergio Ramos has thrown his weight behind new Spain head coach Fernando Hierro and backed him to succeed.

Ronaldo has been in fabulous form for club and country this year and continues to show why he is widely considered one of, if not the world's greatest player. "I am going to take with me the way the team reacted, which was great and the fact that we deserved to win".

Ronaldo has made an early claim for the Golden Boot and you wouldn't bet against him adding yet another trophy to his already well-stocked cabinet. He then calmly sent his shot to the right corner as De Gea went the other way.

That would prove a big call as, after just two minutes of an action-packed contest, Nacho stuck out a leg and Ronaldo took full advantage of the contact inside the box, before tucking away the penalty.

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Ronaldo scores hat trick, Portugal draws 3-3 with Spain