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HomeFootballThe free-kick artist is back: CR7 strikes twice after 13 years

The free-kick artist is back: CR7 strikes twice after 13 years

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored two trebles in the space of 72 hours. Another return to his old strength from the Portuguese caused even more of a stir

Bayer Leverkusen’s successful coach Xabi Alonso was still playing behind him in central midfield when Cristiano Ronaldo scored two free-kick goals in one game for the last time. On the touchline, José Mourinho was delighted towards the end of the first season in which CR7 was allowed to wear “his” shirt number at Real Madrid, but nobody’s jaw dropped. Two free-kick goals from the then 26-year-old Portuguese were not a sensation at the time.

However, a lot has changed since the Whites’ 3:1 away win at FC Villarreal on May 15, 2011. Cristiano Ronaldo is now 39, Alonso is now the coach, Mourinho is no longer in charge, and the former free-kick artist was able to enjoy something that he had not achieved for almost 13 years – not Real Madrid, but Al-Nassr.

The Saudi Professional League runners-up have had plenty to cheer about in recent days, winning their home game against Al-Tai, coached by former Bundesliga professional Laurentiu Reghecampf, 5-1 on Saturday evening, when Cristiano Ronaldo conjured up a flawless hat-trick between the 64th and 87th minute.

Mané prevents the second hat-trick

On Tuesday evening, away at Abha Club, the highest competitive match victory in Al-Nassr’s history finally followed – between the 11th and 42nd minute, the five-time world footballer once again got on the scoresheet three times in an 8-0 win. Sadio Mané, who made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute, prevented a hat-trick this time. But two Cristiano Ronaldo trebles in the space of around 72 hours are worthy of all honors.

And two free-kicks in one game – the first two goals against Abha Club – after a dry spell that lasted longer than many a career. Once under the wall, once over it.

A man who has scored over 60 free-kicks in this manner has actually forgotten the art of free-kicks in recent years. He has scored two free-kicks in one game so far, in 2008 against Stoke City (for Manchester United), 2009 against FC Zurich and 2011 against Villarreal (both for Real Madrid). And then not for a very long time. But on Tuesday evening, Cristiano Ronaldo turned back the clock once again

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