Cristiano Ronaldo continues to write his name in the record books after beginning 2020 with a hat-trick for Juventus in their 4-0 win against Cagliari in Serie A on Monday.
His second-half treble in Turin means he becomes just the second player to score a Serie A hat-trick, a La Liga hat-trick and a Premier League hat-trick this century, after Alexis Sanchez.
Sanchez achieved this feat when he scored a hat-trick for Arsenal in a 5-2 win against Leicester at the King Power Stadium in September 2015, having previously hit trebles for Barcelona and Udinese.
Ronaldo, of course, hit league hat-tricks for Manchester United and Real Madrid prior to his effort for the Bianconeri at Allianz Stadium.
After a goalless first half, Ronaldo opened the scoring four minutes after the restart before doubling Juve’s lead from the penalty spot midway through the second period.
The 34-year-old then turned provider by setting up Gonzalo Higuain to make it 3-0 with eight minutes remaining. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid man then completed his hat-trick a minute later to wrap-up a thumping win.
It was the Portugal forward’s 36th league hat-trick of his career – no player has scored more in Europe’s big five leagues since 2008. That includes his great rival Lionel Messi, who is second on the list with 34, while Luiz Suarez is a distant third with 16.
In total, Ronaldo has now scored 56 hat-tricks for club and country, with his ninth treble for Portugal against Lithuania in November equalling the international record for most hat-tricks held by Sweden’s Sven Rydell.
Ronaldo’s opening goal also meant he became the first player to score at least one goal in one of Europe’s top five leagues in each of the last 18 years, stretching all the way back to his first goal for Manchester United against Portsmouth in November 2003.
There are only two other players currently active who can match this feat – 38-year-old Real Betis forward Joaquin and 41-year-old Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro.
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