Cristiano Ronaldo's 3 greatest outings in a Portugal jersey


#2 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Playoff Second Leg: Sweden-2 Portugal-3 (Aggregate: Sweden-2 Portugal-4)

Cristiano Ronaldo exults after scoring in a 2014 FIFA WC qualifier playoff against Sweden
Cristiano Ronaldo exults after scoring in a 2014 FIFA WC qualifier playoff against Sweden

After Portugal narrowly missed out to Russia for a direct spot at the 2014 World Cup, the Iberian nation faced Sweden in a two-legged playoff to qualify for the quadrennial tournament.

Portugal arrived at the Friend's Arena in Solna, Stockholm for the second leg on the back of a 1-0 first leg advantage. On a night where the host nation looked up to their inspirational captain Zlatan Ibrahimovich for some magic to rubber-stamp their return to the World Cup after missing out in 2010, it was Ronaldo who stole the limelight.

After a goalless first half in the Swedish capital, Portugal adapted better to a difficult surface recently relaid for the World Cup play-off as Ronaldo's low left-footed shot beat Andreas Isaksson and doubled Portugal's aggregate lead. With Sweden now needing three goals to qualify, Ibrahimovich's header reduced the deficit to two.

When the talismanic Swedish captain scored off a freekick, the Friends Arena rose in anticipation as Portugal's aggregate lead had evaporated and they only led on away goals (3-3). But Ronaldo turned up once again to douse the home hopes, as he scored his second of the night with another left-footed effort which was even applauded by Ibrahimovich.

Minutes later, Ronaldo completed his second hat-trick for Portugal as the match ceased to be a contest. In the process, Ronaldo became only the fourth Portuguese player (EusΓ©bio, Pedro Pauleta and Nuno Gomes being the others), to score multiple hat-tricks for the A. Selecao.

Edited by Musab Abid
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