Cristiano Ronaldo news: Juventus star close to entering top ten list of all-time best free-kick takers
What's the story?
Juventus and Portugal talisman Cristiano Ronaldo has edged closer to the top ten list of all-time best free-kick takers, following his latest hat-trick against Switzerland in the UEFA Nations League semi-finals on Wednesday.
In case you didn't know...
Ronaldo was the difference-maker as Portugal faced Switzerland in the Nations League semi-finals at the Estadio do Dragao earlier this week. The Juventus star opened the scoring for his side with a superb free-kick in the first half of the game before Ricardo Rodriguez netted the equaliser from the penalty spot after the break.
The 34-year-old went on to secure a 3-1 win for Portugal by netting two goals within two minutes towards the end of the game, and completing the 53rd hat-trick of his professional career.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner, who helped Juventus to win the Serie A title last season, will be looking to add to his international tally of trophies by winning the inaugural Nations League.
The heart of the matter
Ronaldo's free-kick against Switzerland in the Nations League semi-finals marks his 54th career free-kick, which is only six away from Marcelinho Carioca, who ranks tenth in the list of best-ever dead-ball specialists.
Barcelona captain Lionel Messi has 48 career free-kicks to his name, six less than his former La Liga rival.
Juninho Pernambucano tops the list with 77 free-kick goals. Brazil legend Pele follows close behind with 70 goals from free-kicks. The likes of David Beckham and Ronaldinho also feature on the list of free-kick experts.
Ronaldo has the opportunity to win another international title with Portugal as they are scheduled to face the Netherlands in the first-ever Nations League final this weekend.