Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to take Euro 2020 by storm.
It seems fitting that the Portugal superstar will get his summer campaign underway on the three-year anniversary of his finest ever performance at an international tournament.
Yes, that’s right, June 15 not only marks Portugal’s curtain-raiser against Hungary at Euro 2020, but it also brings back memories of Ronaldo tearing apart Spain at the 2018 World Cup.
Portugal 3-3 Spain (2018)
It’s crazy to think that as many years have passed as Ronaldo scored goals in Sochi, but footage of him lashing home that knuckle-ball free-kick during the 3-3 thriller will never feel old.
However, we are a little concerned that the legacy of Ronaldo’s masterclass has been somewhat blurred because his output was far more alloyed than ‘just’ scoring three goals against Las Rojas.
Besides, it’s a very legitimate fear that some fans might watch back the highlights and downplay Ronaldo’s treble by way of the opening two strikes being a penalty and David de Gea clanger.
Sancho “DEAL CLOSE” | Hakimi to Chelsea Update (Football Terrace)
An all-round top performance
Now, those two facts are unavoidable – though we dare posit that a hat-trick is still a flipping hat-trick – but make no mistake that Ronaldo’s performance was legendary even without his goals.
In fact, those who watched his every move that night in 2018 would have been able to tell their grandkids of Ronaldo’s class even in a parallel universe where he never actually found the net.
The point we’re trying get across here is that Ronaldo’s overall display in that iconic Spain game should be talked about more because his individual highlights really are a joy to watch.
Ronaldo’s highlights for the ages
So, on the anniversary of said masterclass, we felt an obligation to the footballing world to once again wheel out every touch, skill and flash of magic from Ronaldo’s opening-day display.
We’ve seriously bigged it up, haven’t we? Well, fear not because the majesty of Ronaldo won’t disappoint, so do yourselves a favour and check out his 2018 highlights vs Spain down below:
Imagine dropping a World Cup performance like that at 33 years old. Madness.
A World Cup masterclass
Ronaldo genuinely looked as though he was channelling his early Manchester United days at times, whipping out the step-overs and playing like he didn’t have a care in the world.
But this was the biggest stage of all and Ronaldo finally showed the short of individual masterclass at the World Cup that we’d seen him do time after time with Real Madrid in the years prior.
It might only have culminated in Portugal reaching the round of 16, but with his first opening game at a tournament since that night in Sochi finally arriving, perhaps he can rediscover that magic again.
Besides, as Portugal enter Euro 2020 with one of the strongest squads in the tournament, Ronaldo showing the world that he’s one of the greatest of all time could propel them all the way to glory.