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Mourinho praises ‘special’ Ronaldo after hat-trick heroics

Cristiano Ronaldo is the name on everybody’s lips following his sensational performance in Portugal’s World Cup opener against Spain on Friday.

The Real Madrid ace bagged a hat-trick against the 2010 world champions, including a sensational late free-kick to bring the scores level at 3-3 to ensure the spoils were shared.

One man who was clearly impressed with Ronaldo’s performance was Manchester United manager, and of course his fellow countryman, Jose Mourinho.

Not only do the pair both hail from Portugal, but have worked together in the past during Mourinho’s time as Real Madrid manager between 2011 and 2014.

Speaking in his role as a pundit at the World Cup for Russia Today, Mourinho described Ronaldo as a special player:

“He knew. He knew and that’s what I really admire in some players and he is a great example,” said Mourinho.

“There are players for some matches, there are players for every matches and there are players for special matches. And the players for special matches are the ones.

“His [free-kick] record lately is not the best, I think for every free-kick he takes in the national team, he is not scoring as much as he did for Manchester United and for the first years in Real Madrid.

“But this one is the critical one, this one is a crucial point, it can affect the self-esteem, the self-confidence, the way to appear in the next two matches, the rivalry, what it means for Portuguese people who is at home. And he has this little touch, this little feeling and the goal is fantastic.”

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