Ronaldo scores a hat trick as Real Madrid routs Ajax
AMSTERDAM - Reuters
AFP PhotoA rampant Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second hat-trick in four days and Karim Benzema netted a spectacular overhead kick to fire Real Madrid to a crushing 4-1 win at Ajax Amsterdam in Champions League Group D on Oct. 3.
Chasing a 10th European title that has eluded them since 2002, Jose Mourinho’s side opened a 2-0 lead against a disappointing Ajax with a goal either side of the break but gave the Dutch champion hope with some sloppy defending before Ronaldo struck twice in two minutes late on to kill the game.
It was the Portuguese forward’s first Champions League treble and lifted him to 42 goals in 82 matches in Europe’s elite club competition.
With the weekend’s La Liga ‘Clasico’ at Barcelona looming, it also gave him the edge in his personal scoring duel with Barça forward Lionel Messi.
Ronaldo, the last player to be named World Player of the Year before Messi won the last three awards, has 12 in all competitions compared to Messi’s 10.
“It was a very complete game on our part and it’s very important for the next match to boost confidence,” Ronaldo said in an interview with Spanish television.
“Scoring three goals is important for me and I am very happy,” he added, clutching another match ball to add to his growing collection. Ronaldo also netted a hat-trick in La Liga against Deportivo Coruna on Sept. 30.
“These collections are always very important for me but the most important thing is the team,” he said.
The victory consolidated Real’s lead at the top of Group D with six points from two matches.
“We lost control of the game a bit when Ajax scored and the match became a little dangerous but after the third goal we started to dominate again,” Mourinho told Spanish TV. “The team won and is fulfilling its objectives in a group which is no joke and if you drop points you’ll be in trouble.”
German champion Borussia Dortmund, who hosts Real on Oct. 24, has four points after a 1-1 draw at Manchester City, with City on one point in third and Ajax on zero in fourth.