Ronaldo’s hat-trick for Portugal elevates his international goals
Cristiano Ronaldo elevated his tally to 98 international goals. His hat-trick against Lithuania moved Portugal to a win of a place at EURO 2020.
The Juventus forward could become the only second man to reach 100 international goals. This will happen if the superstar scores twice against Luxembourg on Sunday.
The 34-year-old captain scored an early penalty before curling in a second. Pizzi, Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva scored before the latter set up Ronaldo for his third.
On the other hand, Ronaldo’s ninth Portugal hat-trick takes him to within 11 goals of Iran legend, Ali Daei’s world record 109.
This is his joint-most goals in a calendar year for Portugal, with 13 coming in his past seven caps matching his 2016 total.
Earlier on, Ronaldo had been substituted in his last two Juventus games. His Juventus manager, Maurizio Sarri sayed he had a knee problem.
However, Portugal boss, Fernando Santos said, “I never had any doubts about his condition. It was other people who had them. Nothing surprises me about Cristiano.”
Defending champions, Portugal will qualify for next summer’s European Championship if they beat Luxembourg this Sunday.
Aleksandar Mitrovic scored twice as Serbia beat Luxembourg 3-2 to ensure the race for the second qualifying spot in Group B goes down to the final game.
Ukraine has already reached Euro 2020 as group winners.