Try to resist the temptation – as tantalising as it might be – to compare what Cristiano Ronaldo did for Portugal against Spain on Friday night to what befell Lionel Messi against Iceland in Moscow on Saturday afternoon.
Sure, Ronaldo scored a penalty and Messi missed one. Sure, Ronaldo banged in a stupendous free-kick and Messi put a similar kind of one over. And sure, Ronaldo hit a hat-trick and Messi drew a blank. But there is so much more going on.
Portugal – under Fernando Santos – have a high-class, settled squad with continuity in the line-up and a clearly defined method for obtaining results. They are the European champions for good reason.