The Real Madrid star sent a message to his side’s city and title rivals by netting a brilliant treble to become the all-time top scorer in games between the two capital clubs.
Cristiano Ronaldo has broken Alfredo Di Stefano’s record as the highest scorer in the history of the Madrid derby by scoring a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid.
The Portugal international entered Saturday’s fixture with 15 goals in the fierce cross-city rivalry, lying third in Real Madrid’s historical standings.
And early on he drew level with Santillana when his deflected free-kick skewed past Jan Oblak in the Atletico net to give the visitors the lead at the Vicente Calderon.
After the break, Ronaldo helped take the wind out of Atleti’s sails when he netted his second during a period of fierce home pressure.
That goal took him level with Di Stefano, and the great Argentine forward’s milestone of 17 strikes was finally passed with Ronaldo’s third goal of the encounter to kill off Atletico’s resistance.
The hat-trick takes the Portuguese star up to eight goals in nine league games this season, level with Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – who were both out of action at the weekend – at the top of the scoring charts.
Ronaldo has now scored 374 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid and is just three more away from hitting the 500 mark for his career as a whole with Real, Manchester United and Sporting.
Despite his incredible individual statistics, he is chasing just his second league championship medal in Spain and has helped Madrid establish a four-point lead over Barcelona after 12 matches of the 2016-17 campaign.