With two penalty kicks within 13 minutes and a goal to cap his hat trick later on, Cristiano Ronaldo sent Luxembourg to the top of his hit list.
The all-time men’s international scoring king padded his total with two early strikes from the spot in a one-sided, 5–0 World Cup qualifying win on Tuesday, before the goal that capped his 10th career international hat trick gave him nine goals in his career against Luxembourg—the most he’s scored against any other country. Lithuania and Sweden shared the honors prior to Tuesday, conceding seven times apiece to Ronaldo.
But after Bernardo Silva was taken down in the box at the Estádio Do Algarve, Ronaldo brought the 94th-ranked team in the world level with them, and less than five minutes later, he was taken out in the box and converted again (having to re-take the kick after a teammate encroached into the box early on his initial try) to give the visiting nation the dubious honor.
Ronaldo now has 115 goals in his career for Portugal, 16 of which have come on penalty kicks and 36 of which have taken place in World Cup qualifying.
Ronaldo was initially denied his hat trick in sensational fashion, with his 68th-minute bicycle kick attempt turned away after a fantastic, reflex save.
He got it soon after, heading home Portugal’s fifth of the day to pile on in the rout.
Portugal entered the day trailing Serbia by a point in its qualifying group, though it has a game in hand. Should Portugal qualify for the World Cup, Ronaldo would have the opportunity to be the fifth male player to appear in five tournaments and the first to score in five. He has seven goals on the World Cup stage in his career.
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