Cristiano Ronaldo has just completed a hat-trick of Manchester United hat-tricks.
Just when the Red Devils were labouring more than ever against Norwich City at Old Trafford, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner reminded the world that he’s most certainly not past his sell-by date at 37 years old.
Norwich cause Man Utd problems
However, true to the woeful form of Ralf Rangnick’s men recently, they managed to concede two goals against the division’s basement club and spark chants of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ in the process.
Kieran Dowell had put the Canaries within one goal of their opponents in first-half stoppage time, before Teemu Pukki left the home crowd with their heads in their hands after the break.
In fact, it looked as though Norwich were the team that was more likely to score the fifth goal of the game, threatening David de Gea’s goal to compound the negative atmosphere in Manchester.
Ronaldo saves the day with free-kick
But that’s when Ronaldo came in, once again proving himself as football’s greatest ever clutch player by scoring the third hat-trick of his United career in sensational style late on.
That’s because the Portuguese scored just his second free-kick in club football since leaving Real Madrid to send the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ into scenes of delirium with less than 15 minutes left on the clock.
It might not have been a knuckle-ball special of old times, but it was nevertheless a fierce strike that was too hot for Tim Krul to handle – and you’d simply be mad not to check it out down below:
GOOOOOAAALL The GOAT Cristiano Ronaldo scores second Third for Man Utd— Faster HD (@KeurHarry) April 16, 2022
WHAT A HATRRICK 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Via 🎥: @Mohammad_zrek1 @ManUtd@Cristiano #MUNNOR #مانشستر_يونايتد_نوريتش #الدوري_الانجليزي pic.twitter.com/DrJ7SnN954
Ronaldo's 50th career hat-trick 🐐 pic.twitter.com/hziRareUoZ— United Goals ⚽️ (@UnitedGoals__) April 16, 2022
Oh, and did we mention that it was his 50th career hat-trick in club football?
Ronaldo had previously scored three times in one game for United against Newcastle United during his first stint, before repeating the feat during the Tottenham Hotspur win as recently as March.
Ronaldo silences the doubters
Say what you like about United’s decision to re-sign the Portuguese striker last summer, but you can hardly accuse the footballing legend of not producing game-changing moments back in England.
It’s crazy to think that Ronaldo has often been lambasted as the problem behind United’s struggles when you consider that he’s actually been one of the Premier League’s top goalscorers this season.
Yes, he’s had plenty of poor performances too and yes, his hat-trick was only against Norwich City, but you simply can’t say that Ronaldo has wilted in key moments this season and keep a straight face.
So, who knows if he’ll be pulling on the famous red jersey once again for the 2022/23 campaign, but the Old Trafford faithful can at least rest easy knowing that he’s still given them plenty to celebrate even if he doesn’t.