Ken Early: Ronaldo proves the sorcerer of Sochi on magical night

Portuguese star’s performance was beyond efficiency - it was alchemy

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his  third goal in the World Cup Group B clash with Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his third goal in the World Cup Group B clash with Spain at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Photograph: Hannah McKay/Reuters

Get sentenced to two years in prison in the afternoon, come out and score a hat-trick in a World Cup classic against Spain that night. Cristiano Ronaldo never ceases to find new ways to astonish the world.

Take Ronaldo out and the match was not a contest. The match was scarcely a contest with him in it. Portugal were hopelessly outclassed. Spain, with Koke and Busquets running the midfield, dominated everything. But Ronaldo scored three goals from two and a half chances. It was beyond efficiency. It was alchemy.

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