Wednesday, October 27, 2021

TREBLE ALLIANCE Man Utd star Cristiano Ronaldo leads Lionel Messi with 58 career hat tricks while Lewandowski and Suarez battle for third place

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MANCHESTER UNITED star Cristiano Ronaldo has scored the most hat tricks in the 21st century.

The legendary striker, five ahead of rival Lionel Messi, scored his last triple against Luxembourg in Portugal’s 5-0 World Cup qualifying win.

And Ronaldo has expanded his lead at the top of all-time hat-trick scorers in the 21st century.

Rival Messi is five behind, 53, and their next challenger is Luis Suarez, 29.

Bayern Munich striker and one of the favorites for this year’s Ballon d’Or, Robert Lewandowski, is three steps ahead of Suarez.

The Polish international has already scored a hat trick against Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga this season.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian superstar Neymar is the only other player with 20 triplets or more.

The sensational heroes of the noughties Mario Gomez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar both have 18 hat tricks, as does Manchester City legend Sergio Agüero.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one behind them, with Premier League center-forward Edinson Cavani and Harry Kane both on 15.

Ronaldo opened the goal against Luxembourg from the penalty spot and shot the ball straight into the middle.

Five minutes later Portugal was awarded a second penalty, this time Ronaldo won himself – who scored the penalty.

But the referee withdrew the ball in a bizarre way and forced it to take it again – but the Portuguese simply hammered the ball back home.

Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris failed the Portuguese captain several times in the remainder of the game, showing Ronaldo with a clever reactionary save after a free kick from above.

But a Ronaldo hat trick was inevitable.

Three minutes before the end he relieved his marker after a free kick and headed the ball into the net – with that he secured his 58th professional match point.

Ronaldo’s 10th Portugal hat-trick means he has broken Sweden’s Sven Rydell’s international hat-trick record of nine.

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