Every time Lionel Messi does something ethereal to try and cement his place as world football's No. 1, Cristiano Ronaldo inevitably fires back. On Sunday vs. Granada, he answered ... five times.
The Real Madrid forward scored his first career five-goal game in a 9-1 rout of hapless Granada and pushed his La Liga tally to 36, four ahead of Messi. Sunday marked the 24th career league hat trick for Ronaldo, which ties the mark Messi set earlier this season.
In addition to Ronaldo's contributions, Real received two goals from Karim Benzema, one from Gareth Bale and one on an own goal by Diego Mainz. Granada's single tally came from Robert Ibanez in the 74th minute.
The 9-1 scoreline was Real Madrid's largest margin of victory since 1967, as well as Granada's largest ever La Liga defeat. The last Real player to score five goals in one game was Fernando Morientes in 2002.