Ronaldo stuns with hatrick as Portugal, Spain share honour
Portugal and Real Madrid super human, Cristiano Ronaldo showed why he is the reigning king of world football when he pumped three goals into the Spanish net in the World Cup opener between Spain and Portugal. It ended 3-3.
Bullish Diego Costa also scored a brace of goals for Spain.
Julen Lopetegui, the sacked Spanish manager, would not have known whether to laugh or cry if he tuned to watch this belting game of football.
Sacked by Spain on the eve of this World Cup, he’d have witnessed a wonderful team performance which marked them out as potential champions.
And yet it is some consolation prize when you realise that you will be managing Real Madrid and get to call upon the greatest footballer in the world, whose extraordinary hat-trick denied Spain victory in thiscast-iron World Cup classic.
Lopetegui described his sacking by Spain as the saddest of his professional career and he must have seething with resentment when he watched the jaw-dropping quality of his former charges last night.
He may have inherited the greatest job in club management but there is little doubt that Lopetegui has been denied a genuine chance to win the World Cup.
Bruised by off-field turmoil and twice falling behind to goals from the great Ronaldo, Spain showed some serious cojones to lead 3-2.
But when they conceded an 88th-minute free-kick 30 yards from goal and Ronaldo stepped up they must feared the inevitable equaliser — and so it proved.
Unbeaten throughout the entirety of Lopetegui’s 20-match reign, this Spanish team seem to have it all.
The brilliant flint-hearted villainy of two-goal striker Diego Costa and the sheer footballing majesty of Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
They have the best goalkeeper in the world too, in David De Gea — not that you’d have known it last night when his howler gifted Ronaldo his second goal. AS for the third goal, De Gea didn’t move but he can barely be blamed for that.