Cristiano Ronaldo steals the spotlight despite Diego Costa’s best efforts | Paul MacInnes

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Portugal captain’s hat-trick could jump-start the World Cup on its own but it was one of many subplots in the 3-3 draw with Spain

Age shall not wither him nor custom stale his infinite variety. Ruthless Ronnie was at it again, his 51st career hat-trick topped off with a superlative last knockings free-kick hit with a new technique. Alongside that there was the pace he should have lost five years ago, an efficacy of action that bordered on the supreme and the spatial awareness of a quantity surveyor. The Portugal captain gave a display that was enough to jump-start the World Cup in and of itself. But the delight of this match was that his performance was only one of many intriguing subplots.

Let’s dwell on the big man for a little longer, though. Thirty-three years old and off the back of another Champions League title, another 40-goal season, there remains not one sign of a weakening of his will to win. Perhaps, in fact, it is the opposite, as if the impediments that nature tries to put in his way have been transformed into just another opponent on the pitch, another obstacle to get round. On the evidence of this match Ronaldo appears even to be winning the battle with time. The pace he showed on the counterattack against Spain was terrifying. It may not be common to see him sprinting as much as this, given the way Real Madrid tend to dominate the ball, but there is no doubt he still has it in him.

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Written by Paul MacInnes
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jun/15/cristiano-ronaldo-portugal-spain-diego-costa-world-cup under the title “Cristiano Ronaldo steals the spotlight despite Diego Costa’s best efforts | Paul MacInnes”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.