55 not out: Cristiano Ronaldo notches 55th hat-trick in Portugal's 6-0 thrashing of Lithuania (VIDEO)
Ronaldo's treble in his side's Euro 2020 qualifier on Thursday night also took his tally of international goals for his country to 98 as he closes in on another remarkable career milestone.
If Ronaldo makes it to 100 goals, he'll become only the second player in football history to register a century of international goals for his country, joining Iran's Ali Daei.
Ronaldo's performance came in the wake of a turbulent week with his club, after he recently stormed off after being substituted to help rest his knee injury. But there were no such doubts in Portugal coach Fernando Santos' mind when it came to his star man's ability to play.Also on rt.com Cris and make up: Juventus teammates ‘expect apology’ from Cristiano Ronaldo over substitution strop
"I asked him if he was okay to play, it was just a case of having a conversation with him," he said.
"I never had any doubts about his condition, it was other people who had them. Nothing surprises me about Cristiano."
Ronaldo won, then scored, a penalty after just seven minutes to get his night off and underway. Then, 15 minutes later, he added a second from outside the box with a powerfully-struck swerving effort. His third came with 25 minutes to go with a simple finish as he moved to within just two goals of his century.
The victory puts Portugal one win away from qualification for the Euro 2020 finals, with victory in Luxembourg on Sunday punching their ticket to the tournament. Ukraine have already secured their spot in the finals, while Serbia are hoping for a Portugal slip-up in order to pip them to the second qualification spot.Also on rt.com 'The captain is well, very well': Cristiano Ronaldo 'very fit' despite Juventus saying he's nursing knee injury