With his team on the ropes against Sweden in the second leg of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Cristiano Ronaldo decided it was time to put Portugal on his back, as he went absolute “HAM” on the Swedish defense.
After winning Leg 1 of the qualifying round with a score of 1-0 last week, Portugal finished the job on Tuesday thanks to Cristiano’s second half hat-trick, thus earning a coveted birth in next summer’s Brazil World Cup.
Despite a valiant effort from Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic—who scored two goals in the second half to put his team up momentarily—Cristiano just could not be stopped on the other end of the pitch. Laced in his signature Nike Mercurial Veloce CR7, the Real Madrid star made some crisp runs, and had even better finishes, as he put the ball in the back of the net—not once, not twice, but three times, as Portugal won on aggregate 4-2. With his world class performance on Tuesday, Cristiano is now tied with Pedro Pauleta as the top international goal scorer (47) in Portugal history.
Portugal still has some work to do before World Cup action kicks off in Brazil. But A Selecção fans are certainly breathing a sigh of relief now that they have something to cheer about next summer.