Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning 53rd hat-trick of his career fires hosts Portugal into the Nations League final

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo who hardly came near the ball in the first few minutes, blasted Portugal ahead from a free kick in the 25th minute, his first goal for his country for nearly a year, but the Swiss equalised with a penalty kick after halftime which will raise more questions over the use of the VAR system.

The veteran was making his debut for Portugal in the Nations League at 34, and if he remains one of the most divisive sporting figures of his era, there can be no debate that, when the match is on the line, there is still nobody to touch him.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to give Portugal a 3-1 win over Switzerland in a Nations League semi-final featuring an extraordinary VAR incident on Wednesday night.

In between Ronaldo’s first and second goals, there was another addition to the increasingly frustrating and bizarre catalogue of VAR decisions.

Switzerland’s Steven Zuber raced into the Portugal penalty area and was brought down by Nelson Semedo.

Switzerland wanted a penalty. The referee gave nothing, Portugal went up the other end.

Ronaldo danced through the area, the ball was taken off his toes by colleague Bernardo Silva. Silva went down after Fabian Schar tripped him, and now it was Portugal’s turn to call for a penalty.

There’s no adjective to describe him. He’s a genius. You can be a genius in art, and in sculpture and he is a football genius. he has complete the 53rd hat-trick of his career and the seventh for his country. It was an intense match, very hard-fought, against a very well-organised Swiss team,” said Portugal coach Fernando Santos.

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