Cristiano Ronaldo's 3 greatest outings in a Portugal jersey

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of only six players overall, and the only active one, to have scored over 700 goals for club and country.

The Juventus striker has scored 607 goals for four club sides (Sporting Lisbon - 5, Manchester United - 118, Real Madrid - 450 and Juventus - 34) in four different countries, and 95 goals for his national team Portugal.

Ronaldo's tally of goals for his national team is the highest by any European player and second only to Iranian legend Ali Daei's tally of 109, who is the only player in international football to have scored over 100 goals.

Having made his debut as a 17-year-old for the A. Selecao in a 2003 friendly against Kazakhstan, Ronaldo scored in his first goal against Greece in a 1-2 loss during the Euro 2004 group stage. He suffered final heartbreak against the same opposition in the final but went on to lift his biggest title for the national team at Euro 2016, where Portugal beat France in the title match.

Ronaldo is the highest scorer in Euro qualifying, Euro tournament proper and FIFA World Cup qualifying (by an European player). On that note, here is a flashback of Ronaldo's three finest performances in a national team jersey.

#3 2014 World Cup Qualifier: Northern Ireland-2 Portugal-4

Ronaldo celebrates one of his goals against Northern Ireland in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
Ronaldo celebrates one of his goals against Northern Ireland in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier

In a key 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying game, Portugal travelled to Belfast to face Northern Ireland. Bruno Alves opened the scoring for the visitors but goals from Gareth McAuley and Jamie Ward provided a 2-1 lead to the hosts.

In a game Portugal couldn't afford to lose as they were chasing eventual table toppers Russia for top spot and an automatic berth at the 2014 World Cup, Ronaldo's header midway through the second half restored parity for the visitors.

Another header from the talismanic player restored Portugal's lead 13 minutes from time. And the three points were rubber-stamped when Ronaldo scored a fine freekick to bulge the Northern Irish net.

This marked Ronaldo's first-ever hat-trick for his national team.

Although Portugal failed to clinch the top spot in the group by a point, another three-goal haul from Ronaldo saw the Iberian nation go past Sweden in the playoffs and confirm a place in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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