REAL MADRID

Cristiano is Mr. Matchball

Last night’s hat trick was his 37th for Real Madrid, his fifth for the club in the Champions League. He has quite a collection of signed matchballs.

Cristiano is Mr. Matchball
DIARIO AS DIARIO AS

Last night’s hat trick was Cristiano Ronaldo’s 37th for Real Madrid - his fifth for the club in the Champions League, equalling Barça’s Leo Messi. Since he joined in July 2009, has built up quite a collection of signed matchballs.

It took a few months however for the forward (who wore the No.9 shirt in his first season) to get fully into ‘hat trick mode’. His first came in the Week 36 meeting with Mallorca at the Ono Estadi, he replied to Aritz Aduriz’s opener with strikes on 26, 57 and 72 minutes.

He wouldn’t take home another fully signed matchball until October when Racing de Santander were visitors at the Bernabéu in Week 8. In less than an hour, Cristiano had put four past Toño, in a match which Madrid went on to win 6-1.

"Score whenever you can...!!" matchball message from Sergio Ramos.

In total, Cristiano has scored 30 hat tricks in the league. This season, he managed the feat both home and away against Espanyol – in fact, he also netted three against the Catalans in the penultimate game of last season so in his last three encounters with them, he's celebrated a hat trick. But his favourite victims are Sevilla – five times he has come away clutching the matchball – from Madrid’s meetings in May 2011, December 2011, February 2013, October 2013 and May 2015.

In the Copa del Rey, Cristiano has found the net three times or more in two ties – in the Last 32 return leg against Levante in December 2010, and then in the home leg during the next round against Celta de Vigo in January 2013.

He took just over an hour to net a remarkable treble which enabled Madrid to turn around their quarter final tie against Wolfsburg. It was his fifth in the Champions League – a competition record he shares with Leo Messi.

At this rate, Cristiano will have to open another room in his CR7 museum in Funchal where his matchball collection is on display. And his team mates must be wondering what they can rustle up next to write something new and meaningful on the next one...