Cristiano Ronaldo scored another Champions League hat-trick as Real Madrid thrashed Atletico Madrid in the semi-final first leg to close in on a third final in four years.
Ronaldo’s treble was his second against Atletico this season and second straight in the Champions League after hitting three past Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals.
Real shook off the absence of record signing Gareth Bale and an injury to Dani Carvajal in the first half to crush Diego Simeone’s usually resilient side, scoring as many goals on Tuesday as Atleti had conceded in their previous seven games.
“Cristiano is a goalscorer”. “He’s a player who can slot into any position across the defence and do an equally brilliant job”. But now, with time, age has caught on and Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has had to manage the number of matches Ronaldo played this season.
“We delivered a fantastic performance against a good side”.
Cristiano Ronaldo says he never expected to score as many Real Madrid goals after his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid saw him reach 400 goals for his side – at least according to the club.
Since joining Real Madrid in 2009, the 32-year-old has plundered an incredible 280 goals, including 88 Champions League goals in 86 appearances. “I’m happy, I feel fortunate and I am from this planet”.
“Our strength is we always try and play football, as we have very good players”, he said.
“Real Madrid played great, but it was he who applied the finishing touch three times over”, read AS’ editorial.
“We are very motivated and we want to get to the final of the Champions League”.
“They were better and you have to congratulate them”, Simeone said.
“Today we’re entitled to be happy and enjoy how we performed out there”.
“We had a flawless game in which are objective was not to just attack”.
I have watched Atletico boss Diego Simeone a lot this season and he looks like someone who is coming to an end at the club, that he can not take the team any further.
Atletico beat Real 4-0 at Vicente Calderon in a LaLiga match during February 2015, a result which if repeated next week would see them progress against the odds.
“Football is wonderful, it’s impossible and unexpected things happen. Next week we have to go to Calderon and it’s always hard there”.