Cristiano Ronaldo may be turning 31-years-old this week, but the Real Madrid stalwart proved that age is just a number after completely destroying Espanyol for the second time this season on Sunday night.
Despite finishing second in the Ballon d'Or last month, many critics suggested it would be the last time he would stand on the podium alongside Leo Messi. His age coupled with the rise of young bucklings like Barcelona's Neymar and Juventus' Paul Pogba will see him knocked from his perch.
However, on the back of last night, the three-time winner of Fifa's Golden Ball looks every bit capable of claiming his fourth in 11 months time. He will, of course, face harder opponents than the hapless Espanyol defence between now and then, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy his perfect hat-trick against them.
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After Karim Benzema opened the scoring in the seventh minute, Ronaldo got in on the act just five minutes later after being brought down in the box. He converted the resulting penalty. James Rodriguez would compound Espanyol's woes in the 16th minute with a match-killing third before Ronaldo struck the goal of the night.
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With half-time around the corner, Ronaldo showed he's still got the ability to beat defenders, performing two Cruyff turns to bamboozle two opposing players before rocketing home with his left foot from 20-yards.
He would have to wait until the 82nd minute to complete his perfect hat-trick. An inch-perfect cross from Jese put it on a plate for Ronaldo, summing up what had been a fruitful night for Los Blancos.
Unbelievably, it means Ronaldo has scored eight – yes, eight – goals in two La Liga games against Espanyol. To put that in context, 42 percent of his La Liga goals this season have come against the Catalonians.
If only you could score as many against another Catalan club, ai Ronny?
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