Ronaldo hat-trick
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo holds up the match ball as he leaves the pitch after scoring a hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao, at the end of their Spanish first division soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, October 5, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Cristiano Ronaldo is on fire. Just three days after missing out on his third straight hat-trick against Ludogorets Razgrad in the UEFA Champions League, Ronaldo returned to the pitch in Bernabeu for Real Madrid’s La Liga match against Athletic Bilbao. Ronaldo did not disappoint this time, scoring a goal in the first two minutes of the game, finishing with a total of three for the match, and his third hat-trick in four games!

Ronaldo received a glorious cross from Gareth Bale in the opening minutes of the match which he promptly headed into the back of the net. That first goal was his 11th on the season, and he celebrated by salsa dancing with Latino teammates Marcelo and James Rodriguez.

His second goal came in the final minute of the half when Real Madrid’s defense got a turnover that was able to send them on the counter attack. Again, Bale created the opportunity for Ronaldo as he sent a cross into the box that Ronaldo was easily able to tap into the net. In his first instance of unselfishness, Ronaldo recorded his first assist of the season when instead of shooting for his third goal in the second half, he passed to teammate Karim Benzema who buried it into the back of the net for his second goal of the match.

Not to be out done, Ronaldo finally got his hat-trick on a bizarre play during the waning minutes of the match. Benzema sent a shot into the box that appeared to ricochet off of Ronaldo’s elbow and bounce into the net. Sometimes, when things are going your way, you get all the bounces, and that certainly appeared to be the case with Ronaldo’s third and final goal.

Regardless, the Portuguese striker recorded his 22nd hat-trick, tying him with the late great, Alfredo di Stefano and Telmo Zarra for the most in La Liga history. At this pace, it seems highly unlikely that Ronaldo will not be alone atop that list in the next few weeks.

Since Ronaldo has caught fire, he has scored 14 La Liga goals and 17 overall on the young season. He is averaging over 2.5 goals per game an unprecedented streak. Even more important, Real Madrid is 6-0 during his scoring streak after losing back-to-back games earlier in the season.

Check out the video below to see all three of Ronaldo’s goals.

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