SOCHI, RUSSIA - JUNE 15: Captain Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal celebrates with teammates following the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group B match between Portugal and Spain at Fisht Stadium on June 15, 2018 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

5 Things We Learned as Portugal Salvage a Point With a Spectacular Ronaldo Hat-Trick in Sochi

Portugal and Spain both played their parts in a spectacular 3-3 draw in group B's second match in Sochi. 


Spain were the dominant side on the night and their midfield practically ran rings around Portugal. However, they couldn't prevent Cristiano Ronaldo from basically being Cristiano Ronaldo as the Real Madrid man scored a memorable hat-trick, including a superb late free-kick to level the tie.


Here's a look at five things we learned from the classic clash...

5. Andres Iniesta Could Easily Keep Playing at the Highest Level

Friday's match was proof that Iniesta's choice to move out to Japan to continue his playing career is a huge loss. He rolled back the years against Portugal and was an integral part of the Spanish midfield as they ran rings around Portugal.


The 34-year-old's passing was pinpoint, his movement sharp and he wasn't afraid to get stuck in when needed. He might have been slightly overshadowed by his compatriot Isco, but he demonstrated that he is far from finished.


Perhaps continuing to play for Barcelona may be a stretch too far for the diminutive midfielder but playing for Vissel Kobe in Japan seems like such a waste. He could walk into a number of sides in Europe and instantly make them better, regardless of his lack of stamina.

4. Pepe's Antics Continue to Undermine His Abilites

Right, just imagine if John Stones chucks himself on the floor in the build up to a Tunisia goal on Monday. The guy would be completely crucified by the English media. Yet when Pepe does it, it seems to get brushed under the carpet.


What was he thinking? Admittedly, Diego Costa's 'robust' challenge probably should have been a foul but that is no excuse for what followed. Pepe chucked himself to the ground and held his face whilst Diego Costa danced his way into the box to score.


Pepe is a very good defender. But he will never be remembered for anything other than being a total prat.

3. Isco Could Very Well Go on to Win the Golden Ball

Isco absolutely ran the show on Friday night and he left Portuguese players trailing in his wake left, right and centre.


He was simply breathtaking and his performance was very reminiscent of James Rodriguez's exploits in Brazil four years ago. The Spanish midfield looked frightening at times and Isco looked utterly imperious and barely looked as if he was breaking a sweat.


If he can keep up that level of performance there is every chance he can be one of the front runners for the golden ball at the end of the tournament. All he needs to do now is to add goals and assists to his game. 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo Is a Bit Good at Football

Just a bit good. Just a bit.


Ronaldo scored in his fourth consecutive World Cup, but this time he scored a hat-trick. Yes, two of those goals weren't exactly classics as he stroked home a penalty and got extremely lucky as De Gea dropped a clanger for the second.


But the third. Oh my, the third was the sort of free-kick the likes of which you would only usually find in a Nike advert.


Magnificent, Miraculous, Marvellous. Ronaldo could very well drag Portugal kicking and screaming all the way to the tail-end of the competition. 

1. The World Cup Is the Greatest Show on Earth

The first three matches of the World Cup weren't exactly classics, admittedly. Most people knew that would probably be the case, given the lack of talent on show.


But when the big dogs came to play, they reminded us all as to why we love this game.


The game had absolutely everything. It was played at a blistering pace and the technical quality on show was simply breath-taking. We saw the good, the bad and the ugly and it was a game that will live long in the memory.


We now know that the World Cup has arrived. And it wants to let us all know that it is here to stay.