Real Madrid vs. Celta Vigo: Cristiano Ronaldo Hits Hat-Trick in Big Real Victory

Karl MatchettFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo hit a stunning hat-trick as Real Madrid blitzed Celta Vigo 4-0 on Wednesday in the Copa del Rey Round of 16, going through 5-2 on aggregate after their first leg defeat in December.

The Portuguese wide forward scored the first goal just two minutes into the match before hitting another one on 24 minutes. Two goals in the final minutes of the game—Ronaldo's hat-trick goal and one from Sami Khedira—wrapped up a convincing win for Real.

The match's opening strike will be the enduring memory of what became Ronaldo's return to prominence after he failed to land the Ballon d'Or 2012 at the recent FIFA awards ceremony.

Elsewhere, a hat-trick for Ronaldo makes him the front runner for this year's Ballon d'Or

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 9, 2013

Collecting the ball on the left flank, the Real Madrid top goalscorer cut inside before unleashing a swerving strike that left Celta goalkeeper Sergio with no chance. The ball ended right inside the far post.

Ronaldo has now scored 28 goals in all competitions this season. His improving form in front of goal will be a big boost to Madrid as they seek to reduce the deficit at the top of La Liga, where they trail Barcelona by 16 points.

Real Madrid will face Valencia in the next round, which beat Osasuna 2-1 on Tuesday to progress 4-1 on aggregate.

Real Madrid 4-0 Celta (Copa). Cristiano Ronaldo scores his second hat-trick in the Copa del Rey. In 2010 he netted 3 against Levante: 8-0.

— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) January 9, 2013