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Madrid stars shine as Portugal and Spain settle for a point

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Some of the Real Madrid players in Russia 2018 kicked off their campaign with style whilst producing scintillating individual displays in the process. The center of attraction was the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, where two Real Madrid stars led their teams out the tunnel with Cristiano Ronaldo, captain of Portugal and Sergio Ramos, the captain of Spain.

Another Real Madrid player who made a slightly surprising appearance in the starting 11 for Spain was Nacho Fernandez who got the nod ahead of the likes of Azpilicueta and Alvaro Odriozola. Isco Alarcon started the game for the Spanish side as expected, and he proved why he got the nod.

The game got underway and a clash in the penalty box between two Madrid players resulted in a penalty when Nacho fouled Ronaldo as the Portuguese attempted to get past him with pace and a series of flicks. Ronaldo stepped up and converted the penalty to give Portugal an early lead.

READ: Russia 2018 – Ronaldo takes on teammates as Spain face Portugal

Meanwhile, Isco posed a constant threat to the Portuguese defence as he produced a performance that should have earned him the Man of the Match award, but his Madrid teammate Ronaldo would have none of that. All in all, the Madrid players that started the game proved why they got the nod. Spain equalized through Diego Costa, but Portugal would then go ahead towards the end of the first half after Da Gea miscued a shot from Ronaldo for Portugal’s second of the night.

There were reports earlier in the day that Ronaldo had agreed to pay €18.8 million to the Spanish Tax Agency as well as receiving a suspended two-year jail sentence, but these developments didn’t deter the Portuguese who played his heart out and stole the show from under the nose of the Spaniards. Diego Costa yet again restored parity for Spain before Nacho Fernandez put the supposed icing on the cake with a sublime finesse shot for the third.

It was almost done until Ronaldo drew a foul from Pique in the dying minutes and confidently lashed the ensuing free kick into the net beyond a hapless David Da Gea in goal for the first hat-trick in Russia 2018 and send the stadium into a frenzy. What a performance! Ronaldo’s impact in the game is surely bound to affect the ongoing discussions regarding his seeming willingness to leave or stay at the Bernabeu. If there was ever any doubts on what he would offer if his contract is improved, this is sure going to lay those doubts to rest.

Meanwhile, players from Madrid were the main men the game, as 4 of the 6 goals scored were done by Real Madrid players with the rest putting in brilliant performances. All in all, we’ll still get to see how other Los Blancos players in other national teams perform for their sides.