Football

Ronaldo wants more after scoring 58th hat-trick

CR7 wants more after becoming first man to bag 10 international hat-tricks

Cristiano Ronaldo said he will never stop in his quest for excellence after registering his 58th career hat-trick as Portugal strolled to a 5-0 home win over Luxembourg in Group A of World Cup qualifying yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The treble, which meant Ronaldo became the first man to net 10 international hat-tricks, takes his tally to 115 international goals from 182 caps as he continues to pull away as the top men's international goalscorer of all time.

The 36-year-old said in an Instagram post after the match: "I had promised that I would always be looking for more and more and more.

"It is in my DNA and in our DNA, we are never satisfied, we never let our arms down and we will always fight for everything we can achieve."

Victory at the Estadio Algarve ensures Portugal remain a point behind leaders Serbia, who moved onto 17 points with a 3-1 home win over Azerbaijan.

The Serbs, who scored through Dusan Vlahovic (two) and Dusan Tadic, have played a game more than Portugal, whom they meet next month.

Portugal had the Luxembourg game all but won within the first 17 minutes.

Ronaldo struck twice from the penalty spot before his Manchester United teammate Bruno Fernandes made it three following good work from Bernardo Silva.

The Portugal skipper then missed two gilt-edged chances either side of the break, before being denied a spectacular third goal when Luxembourg goalkeeper Anthony Moris kept out his acrobatic overhead kick.

Portugal did not have to wait long for their fourth, however, as midfielder Joao Palhinha headed in from the resultant corner in the 69th minute.

Ronaldo was not to be denied as the hosts pushed on, netting three minutes from time with a header from close range.

While Ronaldo's hat-trick would have pleased United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Norwegian must also have been comforted by the performance of another Red Devil.

Defender Victor Lindelof skippered Sweden in their 2-0 win over Greece, as goals from Alexander Isak and Emil Forsberg moved the Swedes top of Group B ahead of Spain.

Lindelof came through the 90 minutes unscathed, which must surely come as good news in the light of injuries to Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire.

United said that Varane, who suffered a groin injury in France's 2-1 Nations League final win over Spain on Sunday, will be out for a few weeks.

Maguire has also been sidelined by a calf injury. If he does not recover in time, Solskjaer will be without his strongest centre-back pairing when they visit Leicester City in an English Premier League game on Saturday.

Eric Bailly, whose one appearance this season came in the League Cup loss to West Ham United, could partner Lindelof. - AFP, REUTERS

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