Published: Mon, June 10, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Cristiano Ronaldo delighted with Portugal's victory in inaugural Nations League

Cristiano Ronaldo delighted with Portugal's victory in inaugural Nations League

The Dutch have emerged from obscurity with another golden generation and having failed to qualify for the last two major global tournaments I fancy the Netherlands to make a statement of intent ahead of next Summer's European Championships.

But Portugal 's greater star power eventually shone through as Silva squared for Ronaldo to drill home his second of the night.

The build-up to Thursday's Nations League semi-final against Holland was dominated by fan behaviour after two nights of disruption in Porto and some unseemly behaviour in Guimaraes.

He sits second on the all-time worldwide top scorers chart with 88 goals in 157 matches with only Iran's Ali Daei (109) ahead of him.

Cristiano Ronaldo is accustomed to scoring goals in big games, so it's no surprise he was at it again on Wednesday.

It brought up his 53rd hat-trick for club and country.

Instead, managed by Fernando Santos and captained by Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal added to the European title they won in France in 2016 with more silverware.

Even at 34, Ronaldo remains locked in his seemingly endless battle with Messi for the distinction of being regarded as the best player on the planet.

Inspired by Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss carved out several goalscoring chances before falling behind to Ronaldo's free-kick.

Jordan Pickford scored and saved a penalty kick as England won the UEFA Nations League third-place play-off in a shootout against Switzerland.

Brych had waved away appeals for a foul by Nelson Semedo on Steven Zuber before awarding Portugal a penalty as play broke down at the other end, but overturned his initial decision.

One thing we do know is that every situation in and around the penalty area will be highly scrutinized and penalties, no matter how dubious, have been awarded more often in recent times under VAR. Portugal to score a penalty is 11/2 while Switzerland to score a penalty is 10/1.

The Dutch - who had one day less to recover from their semi-final than Portugal - failed to muster a shot on target in the first half.

Felix scored 20 goals in all competitions, including a Europa League quarter-final hat-trick against Eintracht Frankfurt, with Benfica fearing his 120 million euro ($134 million) buyout clause will be activated this summer.

John Stones endured a nightmare match against the Dutch after being at fault for their first two goals and played a part in the third.

Five of Ricardo Rodriguez's past six goals for Switzerland have come from the penalty spot, including his last three.

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