Vilnius, September 11: "This is the clear and irrevocable proof that he is the best player in the world." That was the message from Portugal head coach Fernando Santos after Cristiano Ronaldo's four-goal display.
Ronaldo became the all-time leading scorer in European Championship qualifiers with 25 goals after leading Portugal past Lithuania 5-1 on Tuesday (September 10).
The 34-year-old superstar was unstoppable in the Euro 2020 Group B qualifying clash in Vilnius, where he celebrated his eighth Portugal hat-trick while improving his international tally to 93 goals.
A five-time Ballon d'Or winner among numerous other honours in a remarkable career, Ronaldo's standing in the game is often debated alongside Barcelona captain Lionel Messi.
But Portugal boss Santos has no doubt as to who the best player in the world is following another memorable Ronaldo display.
"This is the clear and irrevocable proof that he is the best player in the world," Santos said following the Euro 2020 qualifying rout away from home.
"There is no stadium in the world where Ronaldo is not applauded," Santos added. "He is the best in the world.
"We went to Paris in my first game, and the hotel in France was just across the street. There were a thousand people at our door."
Santos continued: "I think it's strange when he doesn't score. They say it is ending ... Nothing is ending. You have to be careful because it never ends."