Cristiano Ronaldo responds to Gareth Bale taunts with hat-trick

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Football News

Cristiano Ronaldo was subjected to chants of 'You're just a cheap Gareth Bale" in Portugal's World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland, but he responded in the best way possible: a match-winning hat-trick.

Ronaldo led the side to Windsor Park knowing a win would be needed to maintain their lead at the top of Group F, what with Russia unlikely to notch anything but a victory at home to Luxembourg.

Recent reports have suggested some of Real Madrid players, Ronaldo included, are upset with the decision to sell Mesut Özil to help fund the world record £86million transfer of Gareth Bale from Tottenham - beating the previous record of £80million set by the Portugal captain's move from Manchester United to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Cristiano Ronaldo is an experienced player and fan taunts are unlikely to affect him, but he would have been frustrated with Portugal's predicament after a good start to the match.

Bruno Alves had given them the lead after 20 minutes, but Gareth McAuley's equaliser was compounded by the straight red card received by Helder Postiga for a headbutt on the goalscorer.

Northern Ireland then took the lead through Jamie Ward before the home side were reduced to ten men following Chris Brunt's second booking - it was then that Cristiano Ronaldo wnet in overdrive.

Two headers made it 3-2 to Portugal and then, after Kyle Lafferty was shown a straight red for a reckless lunge, Ronaldo completed his 15-minute hat-trick with a deflected free-kick.

Watch Cristiano Ronaldo respond to Gareth Bale taunts with a 15-minute hat-trick above (apologies for the lame music)...

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Gareth Bale
Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo

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