So, that Cristiano Ronaldo guy is a pretty decent player, I guess.
After scoring "just" two goals in his first four La Liga appearances of 2013—a substandard total in terms of CR7's usual other-planetary production—the 28-year-old Portuguese international gave us all a reminder of his virtuoso skill set on Tuesday night, netting a second-half hat-trick in Real Madrid's Champions League opener against Galatasaray.
As OptaFranz' Twitter feed pointed out, he also tallied an assist, helping him to a feat he has never accomplished in his illustrious career:
4 - Ronaldo had a hand in 4 of Real's 6 goals tonight (3 goals, 1 assist), something he has never done before in a CL game. Premiere.— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) September 17, 2013
Los Blancos crushed the Turkish outfit, 6-1, at Turk Telekom Arena to jump out to a commanding lead in Group B.
Real Madrid's Twitter feed captured the moment:
Ronaldo's first two goals were of the poaching nature.
In the 63rd minute, Angel Di Maria delivered the ball across goal to new-signing Isco, who nodded it back towards the center of the six-yard box for Ronaldo to smash home into the open net.
He had to beat the defender to the punch, but it was just about as easy a goal as you'll see Ronaldo—a master of creative individual skill and long-range efforts—finish:
It took just three minutes for him to double it.
In the 66th minute, high-profile transfer Gareth Bale swung in a beautiful free kick right to Sergio Ramos. The Spaniard met it with his head but was stifled by goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
Ronaldo once again showcased his instincts, being at the right place at the right time to clinically put home the rebound near post:
FOX Soccer's Twitter feed noted the historical impact of that one:
Ronaldo's two goals for Real Madrid today have pushed him past Thierry Henry and into 4th on the all-time Champions League scoring list.— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 17, 2013
No. 3 was the cherry on top, the masterpiece, the world-class example of sheer individual greatness and supremacy—the "classic" Ronaldo, if you will.
With the match already out of hand, C-Ron brilliantly danced through two defenders, took a perfect touch back towards the goal line and blasted a homing missile past the goalkeeper into the side netting from a difficult angle.
As they say, a goal so nice you have to see twice:
Goodness. What a joy to watch. After establishing himself as one of the best ever at Manchester United, Ronaldo has already tallied some video-game numbers in Spain, racking up 206 goals and 21(!) hat-tricks with Real Madrid, per BT Sport:
Just sit back and enjoy the unbelievable and unstoppable ride that is Cristiano Ronaldo, folks.