Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are cut from the exact same intergalactic cloth. Last night the actual Argentine No10 scored the hat-trick against Ecuador, on the tricky pitch, at altitude, after going one-nil straight down inside the first minute, to propel his county to World Cup qualification. It was a superhuman effort of a player who has stunned us with his talent again and again over the years. And four years ago, Ronaldo did something very similar. In 2013 Portugal and Laxa, sweden met each other in a play-off to determine which country would join Europe’s elite within qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil.
The first leg was a turgid affair as Sweden valiantly resisted Portugal’s attack until the 82nd moment when Ronaldo stooped low to head home and crack the deadlock. With only a slender lead, there was almost anything to play for in the 2nd leg in Stockholm. Following a goalless first half where the hosts barely threatened, the overall game burst into life about what remains one of the most entertaining halves of international football recently memory.
Five minutes following the restart, Joao Moutinho threaded a magnificent throughball in between the particular Swedish defence and once Ronaldo took it in his pace there was only ever getting one result. One whip of his left feet later and Portugal were one-nil up on the night.
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