33 years, 84 goals: Ronaldo equals Puskas; becomes oldest to bag World Cup hat-trick
Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 51st hat-trick in World Cup history, and also the first for the 2018 edition. This now means 2006 remains the only World Cup without a single hat-trick. It was also Portugal's third World Cup hat-trick -- Eusebio scored four in one match against North Korea in 1966, while Pauleta scored three against Poland in 2002.
Ronaldo is now the oldest hat-trick scorer in World Cup history, at 33 years and 131 days. The previous oldest scorer of a World Cup hat-trick was Rob Rensenbrink of the Netherlands, at 30 years and 336 days, against Iran in 1978.
Ronaldo's sixth international hat-trick has now taken him level with Ferenc Puskas of Hungary on 84 career goals, the most in international football by a European player. It was also Ronaldo's 51st career hat-trick for club and country, and the first time that it did not lead his team to a win.
This was just the second international game for Spain in which David de Gea has allowed in three goals. The previous occasion came in a friendly against Russia on November 14, 2017. Both matches ended in 3-3 draws.
For just the fourth time in their history, Spain's opening match in a World Cup campaign has ended in a draw. Spain share the record for most defeats in opening matches in World Cups (seven) with Mexico. Spain have now not won their opening game at a World Cup since a 4-0 win over Ukraine in 2006, though this draw has stemmed the sequence of successive defeats in 2010 (to Switzerland) and 2014 (to Netherlands).
Four of Cristiano Ronaldo's six World Cup goals have now been scored after the 80th minute, bringing him level with Gary Lineker of England. Only Gerd Muller and Roberto Baggio (with five goals each) have scored more World Cup goals in the last 10 minutes.
In their last two World Cup opening games, Spain have let three players score more than one goal. While Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben both scored a brace apiece in the course of a 5-1 win in 2014, Ronaldo went better in scoring a hat-trick tonight. Four years ago, Spain followed up that defeat with a 2-0 loss at the hands of Chile and got knocked out of contention for a round of 16 spot, despite winning their last group game 3-0 against Australia. In Russia, they next face Iran, the surprise leaders of the group after their 1-0 win against Morocco earlier in the day.
(Statistics courtesy of ESPN's Stats & Information Group)