Belfast Telegraph

Portuguese are only getting started, roars hat-trick hero Ronaldo

By Graham Luney

Cristiano Ronaldo backed his Portugal team to perform heroics at the World Cup after smashing in a hat-trick to hold Spain last night.

Diego Costa netted a brace and Nacho also scored a sensational strike but Ronaldo's stunning late free-kick ensured the World Cup Group B clash finished 3-3.

It was the Real Madrid star's 51st hat-trick and he is also the first man to net a treble against Spain since Northern Ireland striker David Healy performed the trick in a Euro 2008 qualifier at Windsor Park in September 2006.

"The team is doing very well and we are going to do well for sure," said Ronaldo afterwards.

"We have played one of the favourite teams to win the World Cup and I think it was a fair result."

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea made a shocking mistake for Ronaldo's second goal but boss Fernando Hierro still hailed his side's display.

"When you are playing a player like Ronaldo these things can happen," said Hierro.

"I have a really good relationship with Ronaldo, but I certainly would not change any of the players in my squad for him.

"We feel very proud of the players and feel a great commitment and pride."

Belfast Telegraph

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