Cédric’s World Cup campaign kicked off in dramatic fashion, as Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal to a 3-3 draw with Spain.
The Saints defender, who played the full 90 minutes in Sochi, saw teammate Ronaldo fire a hat-trick, including a sublime late free-kick to salvage a point.
The Portuguese talisman earned and dispatched a penalty inside four minutes, won courtesy of a foul from Real Madrid colleague Nacho.
But Spain responded well, taking control of the game with their trademark possession-based style, and drew level through Diego Costa.
Not to be outdone, Ronaldo struck again shortly before the interval, this time benefiting from an uncharacteristic error from David De Gea, who allowed his low shot to slip through his grasp.
Cédric’s team were back in command, but the game turned on its head with two goals in three second-half minutes.
First Costa pounced from close range, before Nacho redeemed himself with a wonder strike on the half-volley from 20 yards to find the net via the base of the post.
With Portugal staring down the barrel of defeat, up stepped Ronaldo to complete his hat-trick, leaving De Gea rooted to the spot as his free kick found the top corner two minutes from time.