Cristiano Ronaldo Carries Portugal to 2014 World Cup with Stunning Second-Half Hat Trick Against Sweden (GIFs)

High-pressure moments bring out the best in the world’s top players, and that was the case for Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in Tuesday’s second leg against Sweden with a berth in the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the line.

After a goal from Ronaldo in the 50th minute put Portugal ahead 2-0 on aggregate and in the driver’s seat to qualify for next year’s tournament in Brazil, Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic answered with two goals in the 68th and 72nd minute to take the lead in the game and put his team within one goal of securing qualification.

But then, like he has done so many times in his career for Manchester United and Real Madrid, Ronaldo put his team on his back and scored two goals in the 77th and 79th minute that put Portugal in front 4-2 on aggregate and on the doorstep of the 2014 World Cup.

Portugal held off Sweden in the final 10 minutes to earn qualification. Check out Ronaldo’s stunning hat trick in GIF form below, with hat tips to @KickTV, @BR_UK and 101 Great Goals.

2ndgoal

Ronaldo2nd

3rd goal


Click here to relive the Ronaldo-Ibrahimovic duel in our live blog>>

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