Jose Mourinho praises 'special' Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal treble

Wendy Jensen
June 17, 2018

It could also be a last World Cup for five-time Ballon d'Or victor Ronaldo as he looks to finally make his mark on football's greatest stage.

'Ronaldo has a habit of throwing himself to the ground'.

Nacho's first goal for Spain and a blunder by their usually reliable keeper David De Gea were nearly lost in the drama. The striker dominated Spain in Portugal's 3-3 draw.

Portugal and Spain kicked off their first group B match in Sochi at 9pm local time on Friday.

World Cup 2018: Portugal vs. Spain FREE LIVESTREAM: How to watch online (6/15/18)

"I have to work to shut people up", said Costa, who was criticised after his disappointing performance at the 2014 World Cup.

There was little he could do about Ronaldo's stunning third - the defining moment of the game - but the lasting emotions from Spanish supporters in the aftermath was one of fury towards their keeper. And neither did the Real Madrid man.

After only three goals in total at the last three World Cups, he doubled his tournament tally in one night here, and has now scored at eight consecutive major tournaments going back to Euro 2004, when he was still a teenager. But you have the chance to work with a team with so many good players, young and experienced, it makes everything much easier.

Instead, Ronaldo stood with his legs apart in familiar pose, rolled up his shorts and curled an exquisite effort around the Spain wall and into the net past the helpless David de Gea.

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His hat-trick also took him to six goals and past Pauleta as Portugal's second-highest goalscorer at the finals, though he remains a way off from the legendary Eusebio who scored nine.

Spain goalkeeper David de Gea's error just before half-time handed Ronaldo his second of the match and Portugal the lead at half-time but after the break.

Remarkably, the result left Iran top of Group B with three points after they earlier beat Morocco 1-0 thanks to a late own goal in a match which was pedestrian by comparison.

There are still two more games to play: against Portugal next Wednesday and against Spain the following Monday.

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4-Cristiano Ronaldo blasts a penalty past Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, going right corner for the 82nd global goal of his illustrious career.

Spain struggled to contain Portugal's counterattacks, but it showed it remained a solid team despite Lopetegui's absence.

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