Jose Mourinho praises 'special' Cristiano Ronaldo after Portugal treble


Football fans around the world went ecstatic over Ronaldo's hat-trick and their love for him poured over onto the internet.


While Spain bossed possession, Portugal always looked a threat on the break, although young PSG attacker Gonçalo Guedes failed to make the most of a couple of promising attacks.

Spain had five shots on goal, while Cristiano Ronaldo produced all three of Portugal's attempts, which hit the back to the net.

The goal was the fastest in a World Cup game since 1966, when Jose Augusto scored after 1:35 against Hungary and also sealed an incredible record of consistency over Ronaldo's career.

In by far the best game of the tournament so far, Spain forward Diego Costa notched a double before Nacho put them 3-2 ahead with a brilliant third only for Ronaldo to snatch a point.

"We've all had to adapt very quickly to the new circumstances, we've had very little time before our opening match, so I really wish to express my heartfelt thanks for their commitment", Hierro told reporters. In doing so he became the first player to score a hat-trick against the Spaniards at the World Cup and only the fourth in the tournament's history to score at four separate finals - after Pele, Uwe Seeler and Miroslav Klose.

The goal allowed Ronaldo to join Ferenc Puskas as Europe's top worldwide scorer with 84 goals, matching a record that was set more than six decades ago.

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Portugal's next game sees them take on Morocco on Wednesday.

Ronaldo downplayed his sixth worldwide hat trick.

Some needled Spain goalkeeper David de Gea, with many comparing him to Liverpool keeper Loris Karius, who made two goal-allowing blunders against Real Madrid in the recent Champions League final.

New Spain coach Fernando Hierro chose to play Costa in attack, while Koke partnered Sergio Busquets in midfield and Nacho Fernandez was given the task of stopping his Real Madrid clubmate, Cristiano Ronaldo.

"We have to think match by match", Ronaldo added.

Ronaldo made a nice stepover move to get past Fernandez, his Real Madrid teammate, and was fouled at the edge of the area. Choosing to use his instep instead of his usual "laces" technique, Ronaldo guided the ball into De Gea's top left corner, rescuing a valuable point for his team in the battle of the Group B heavyweights.

"Cristiano has great physical strength but his mental strength is very impressive as well", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said.