Many strikers have a shelf or perhaps a cabinet to show off their hat-trick match ball collection. Cristiano Ronaldo needs a garage for his.
The Portuguese superstar hit the 50th hat-trick of his career on Sunday evening as Real Madrid defeated Girona 6-3 in a slightly bonkers La Liga match at the Bernabeu.
Indeed, Ronaldo scored four of Real’s six goals to reach yet another personal landmark in an illustrious career that shows no sign of slowing down.
Cristiano Ronaldo with another match ball for his big collection after scoring four on Sunday
It was another masterful performance by the Portuguese as Real Madrid beat Girona 6-3
Ronaldo shows off his match ball to the television cameras as he leaves the Bernabeu pitch
Ronaldo soaks up the adulation of the Bernabeu crowd during Sunday night’s rout
The 33-year-old now has a mere 37 club goals for the season and a grand total of 566 club goals during his career. When goals for Portugal are included, he has scored a pretty astonishing 645.
Ronaldo has scored hat-tricks with such regularity it threatens to cheapen the achievement for everyone else. But how does the half-century break down?
He scored just the one hat-trick for Manchester United but now has 44 for Real Madrid. Five for Portugal takes us to the 50 mark.
Given that, it is no surprise that 34 of them have been achieved in La Liga – a record for the league – as opposed to just one in the Premier League.
Seven have come in the Champions League, two in the Copa del Rey and one in the FIFA Club World Cup. For Portugal, four were scored in World Cup qualification and one in European Championship qualification.
Ronaldo scored his one and only hat-trick for Man United – against Newcastle back in 2008
Ronaldo’s first four-goal haul came in Real’s La Liga match with Racing Santander in 2010
How the hat-tricks break down
44 – Real Madrid
5 – Portugal
1 – Manchester United
34 – La Liga
7 – Champions League
4 – World Cup qualification
2 – Copa del Rey
1 – Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup, European Championship qualification
5 – Sevilla
3 – Getafe, Espanyol, Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid
2 – Malaga, Levante, Deportivo La Coruna, Athletic Bilbao, Real Sociedad
1 – Newcastle United, Mallorca, Racing Santander, Villarreal, Real Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano, Osasuna, Ajax, Northern Ireland, Galatasaray, Sweden, Elche, Granada, Armenia, Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo, Wolfsburg, Andorra, Alaves, Kashima Antlers, Bayern Munich, Girona, Faroe Islands
Ronaldo’s quartet against Girona was the ninth occasion he has hit four in a match, while he has scored five in one game twice.
The quintets came in a 9-1 drubbing of Granada in La Liga in April 2015 and a 6-0 away rout of Espanyol in September 2015.
In terms of opponents, Sevilla are the most sick of Ronaldo – he has scored three goals against them on five separate occasions.
You have to go back to January 2008 for Ronaldo’s first hat-trick at senior level and that proved to be his one and only for United.
He netted three in a 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Premier League, part of an incredible 2007-08 campaign in which he scored 42 goals as United won the Premier League and the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s first hat-trick in the Champions League came against Ajax in October 2012
Ronaldo scored a crucial hat-trick as Real Madrid overcame Bayern Munich in last season’s Champions League en route to a historic defence of their title
FIVE OF THE BEST
JANUARY 12, 2008 – MANCHESTER UNITED 6 NEWCASTLE UNITED 0
Ronaldo’s first-ever hat-trick in what proved to be his finest season with Manchester United.
They were three of 42 goals he scored that season as United won the Premier League and the Champions League under Sir Alex Ferguson.
NOVEMBER 19, 2013 – SWEDEN 2 PORTUGAL 3
World Cup 2014 qualification play-off, second leg
Having scored in the first leg to hand Portugal a slender 1-0 lead, Ronaldo took personal charge of the second leg to take his nation to the World Cup finals in Brazil.
In what was billed as a head-to-head with Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo came out on top with a stunning hat-trick in a 3-2 win in Stockholm.
SEPTEMBER 12, 2015 – ESPANYOL 0 REAL MADRID 6
A staggering display saw Ronaldo scored five of Real’s six goals and the Portuguese become the club’s all-time record scorer in the league.
Having gone eight games without scoring for club and country, Ronaldo ended his drought in spectacular style.
Ronaldo scores his fifth goal of Real’s 6-0 drubbing of Espanyol in September 2015
APRIL 18, 2017 – REAL MADRID 4 BAYERN MUNICH 2 (AET)
Champions League quarter-final, second leg
Real led Bayern 2-1 from the away leg but struggled to find their rhythm at the Bernabeu, falling behind twice, before Ronaldo took personal charge of the contest.
His hat-trick, including two in extra time, carried him above 100 goals in the Champions League and once again proved his brilliant on the big occasion.
MAY 2, 2017 – REAL MADRID 3 ATLETICO MADRID 0
Champions League semi-final, first leg
With home advantage in the second leg, Atletico were keen to keep things tight in the Bernabeu first leg. Ronaldo had other ideas.
A brilliant hat-trick effectively ended the contest and booked Real’s spot in yet another Champions League final.
His first for Real following that world record move in 2009 came at the end of his debut season in a 4-1 away win at Mallorca.
His maiden four-goal haul happened at the beginning of the following season in a 6-1 home win over Racing Santander.
But it wasn’t until October 2012 that Ronaldo achieved his first hat-trick in the Champions League as Real won 4-1 away at Ajax in the group stages.
In terms of the Champions League, Ronaldo is the only player to score three hat-tricks within one season – against Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo and Wolfsburg during their victorious 2015-16 campaign.
Ronaldo celebrates with a knee slide after completing his hat-trick against Wolfsburg in 2016
A Ronaldo hat-trick in the first leg saw Real overcome city rivals Atletico in last season’s Champions League semi-final
And his first treble for Portugal occured against Northern Ireland in a World Cup 2014 qualifier in September 2013 as part of a 4-2 win.
While it’s true that many of Ronaldo’s hat-tricks have come against the likes of Levante, Getafe and Granada there have been some truly season-defining ones.
Three goals in the derby with Atletico Madrid in April 2012 edged Jose Mourinho’s Real team closer to the league title.
Last season, the stunning hat-tricks he scored against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals and Atletico in the semi-finals were integral to Real’s historic defence of their Champions League crown.
And he single-handedly helped Portugal to the 2014 World Cup by scoring three goals against Sweden in the second leg of their play-off back in November 2013.
Ronaldo’s first international hat-trick for Portugal came against Northern Ireland in 2013
Ronaldo’s hat-trick away to Sweden guided Portugal to the World Cup finals in 2013
Remarkably, Ronaldo has scored more league hat-tricks since joining Real in 2009 than his former club United have scored in the Premier League since 1992 – 34 compared to 32.
Indeed, the only Premier League clubs to have scored more hat-tricks in the post-1992 era are Arsenal (39) and Liverpool (36) and you’d back him to exceed those totals soon.
Of course what everyone wants to know is whether Ronaldo has more hat-tricks than his great rival Lionel Messi?
The answer is yes because Messi has been stuck on 44 career hat-tricks since he scored three for Argentina against Ecuador in a World Cup qualifier back in October last year.
Though he is younger, Messi has some catching up to do when it comes to this particular contest.
Ronaldo shares the record for the most hat-tricks in the Champions League with Messi with seven apiece. The only teams to have scored more hat-tricks in the competition are Real Madrid (11) and Barcelona (12).
But Ronaldo will have to go some if he is to match the incredible 92 hat-tricks scored by Brazilian legend Pele during his career. Goodness knows where he keeps all his souvenir match balls.
Lionel Messi, with 44 career hat-tricks to his name, has some catching up to do
|Number||Date||Home team||Away team||Score||Goals||Competition|
|1||Jan 12, 2008||Man United||Newcastle||6-0||3||Premier League|
|2||May 5, 2010||Mallorca||Real Madrid||1-4||3||La Liga|
|3||Oct 23, 2010||Real Madrid||Racing Santander||6-1||4||La Liga|
|4||Nov 20, 2010||Real Madrid||Athletic Bilbao||5-1||3||La Liga|
|5||Dec 22, 2010||Real Madrid||Levante||8-0||3||Copa del Rey|
|6||Jan 9, 2011||Real Madrid||Villarreal||4-2||3||La Liga|
|7||Mar 3, 2011||Real Madrid||Malaga||7-0||3||La Liga|
|8||May 7, 2011||Sevilla||Real Madrid||2-6||4||La Liga|
|9||May 10, 2011||Real Madrid||Getafe||4-0||3||La Liga|
|10||Aug 28, 2011||Real Zaragoza||Real Madrid||0-6||3||La Liga|
|11||Sep 24, 2011||Real Madrid||Rayo Vallecano||6-2||3||La Liga|
|12||Oct 22, 2011||Malaga||Real Madrid||0-4||3||La Liga|
|13||Nov 6, 2011||Real Madrid||Osasuna||7-0||3||La Liga|
|14||Dec 11, 2011||Sevilla||Real Madrid||2-6||3||La Liga|
|15||Feb 12, 2012||Real Madrid||Levante||4-2||3||La Liga|
|16||Apr 11, 2012||Atletico Madrid||Real Madrid||1-4||3||La Liga|
|17||Sep 30, 2012||Real Madrid||Deportivo La Coruna||5-1||3||La Liga|
|18||Oct 3, 2012||Ajax||Real Madrid||1-4||3||Champions League|
|19||Jan 9, 2013||Real Madrid||Celta Vigo||4-0||3||Copa del Rey|
|20||Jan 27, 2013||Real Madrid||Getafe||4-0||3||La Liga|
|21||Feb 9, 2013||Real Madrid||Sevilla||4-1||3||La Liga|
|22||Sep 6, 2013||Northern Ireland||Portugal||2-4||3||World Cup Qual.|
|23||Sep 17, 2013||Galatasaray||Real Madrid||1-6||3||Champions League|
|24||Oct 30, 2013||Real Madrid||Sevilla||7-3||3||La Liga|
|25||Nov 9, 2013||Real Madrid||Real Sociedad||5-1||3||La Liga|
|26||Nov 19, 2013||Sweden||Portugal||2-3||3||World Cup Qual.|
|27||Sep 20, 2014||Deportivo La Coruna||Real Madrid||2-8||3||La Liga|
|28||Sep 23, 2014||Real Madrid||Elche||5-1||4||La Liga|
|29||Oct 5, 2014||Real Madrid||Athletic Bilbao||5-0||3||La Liga|
|30||Dec 6, 2014||Real Madrid||Celta Vigo||3-0||3||La Liga|
|31||Apr 5, 2015||Real Madrid||Granada||9-1||5||La Liga|
|32||May 2, 2015||Sevilla||Real Madrid||2-3||3||La Liga|
|33||May 17, 2015||Espanyol||Real Madrid||1-4||3||La Liga|
|34||May 23, 2015||Real Madrid||Getafe||7-3||3||La Liga|
|35||Jun 13, 2015||Armenia||Portugal||2-3||3||Euro Qual.|
|36||Sep 12, 2015||Espanyol||Real Madrid||0-6||5||La Liga|
|37||Sep 15, 2015||Real Madrid||Shakhtar Donetsk||4-0||3||Champions League|
|38||Dec 8, 2015||Real Madrid||Malmo||8-0||4||Champions League|
|39||Jan 31, 2016||Real Madrid||Espanyol||6-0||3||La Liga|
|40||Mar 5, 2016||Real Madrid||Celta Vigo||7-1||4||La Liga|
|41||Apr 12, 2016||Real Madrid||Wolfsburg||3-0||3||Champions League|
|42||Oct 7, 2016||Portugal||Andorra||6-0||4||World Cup Qual.|
|43||Oct 29, 2016||Alaves||Real Madrid||1-4||3||La Liga|
|44||Nov 19, 2016||Atletico Madrid||Real Madrid||0-3||3||La Liga|
|45||Dec 18, 2016||Kashima Antlers||Real Madrid||2-4||3||Club World Cup|
|46||Apr 18, 2017||Real Madrid||Bayern Munich||4-2||3||Champions League|
|47||May 2, 2017||Real Madrid||Atletico Madrid||3-0||3||Champions League|
|48||Aug 31, 2017||Portugal||Faroe Islands||5-1||3||World Cup Qual.|
|49||Feb 11, 2018||Real Madrid||Real Sociedad||5-2||3||La Liga|
|50||Mar 18, 2018||Real Madrid||Girona||6-3||4||La Liga|