Moscow: After the most sensational of World Cup stories, the most sensational of World Cup games. And while Spain displayed supreme resilience to overcome the turbulence of the last week, record-breaking Cristiano Ronaldo still found a way to overshadow all of that.
He overcame his own pre-match problems after the announcement of the verdict of his Spanish case, with that uncharacteristically the only reason he was really mentioned in the build-up due to the sacking of Julen Lopetegui.
By the end, though, you couldn’t but talk about him. You couldn’t but marvel at him. He crowned a hat-trick with a supreme free-kick on 86 minutes to rescue a 3-3 draw for Portugal.Even those amazing facts, however, barely begin to tell the story of a stunning game of football rich in the highest of quality and most enthralling of sub-plots, and that twisted and turned as much as Diego Costa’s initial equaliser.