ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick as a dominant Real Madrid started its Champions League campaign by crushing Galatasaray 6-1 on Tuesday.
Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive footballer, made his Champions League debut for Madrid in the second half of a physical Group B match that saw goalkeeper Iker Casillas replaced by Diego Lopez due to injury. Captain Casillas had not started a match for Madrid since breaking a bone in his hand 238 days ago.
Francisco “Isco” Alarcon opened the scoring after 33 minutes and Karim Benzema went on to strike twice during a second half in which Ronaldo was unstoppable.
Umut Bulut scored a late consolation goal for Galatasaray.
Bale came on in the 64th minute for Isco in a move that further reinforced Madrid’s attack.