All about the team for hat-trick hero Ronaldo


Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo played down his first Juventus hat-tick as the Old Lady beat Cagliari 4-0 on Monday.

The Portugal ace bagged the 56th hat-trick of his career but first in Italian football, netting in the 49th and 82nd minute while also converting a penalty on 67 minutes.

Gonzalo Higuain scored the other as Juve put on commanding display to begin the year in a positive fashion and open up a three-point lead over Inter, who go up against Napoli on Monday evening.

Lazio are third, six points adrift but having played a game less, and it is very much looking like being a three-way race for the Scudetto over the second half of the campaign.

Ronaldo, 34, was, once again, the star of the show but after the match he preferred to deflect the praise away from his individual display.

“The most important thing is the team. We played well and created lots of chances,” he said. “I’m happy with my hat-trick, but the important thing is that we won in order to put pressure on Inter.”

Juve have won eight consecutive Serie A titles and are favourites to make it nine despite Inter’s revival under Antonio Conte.

Much will depend on how the former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward fares over the next four months, with Ronaldo having bagged 13 goals from 15 Italian top-flight matches so far this term.

He also has two from six Champions League outings and will be hunting more when the Turin outfit square off with French club Lyon in the last-16 next month.