News ID: 192068
Published: 0730 GMT May 03, 2017

Ronaldo hat-trick sees him match Messi's Champions League record

Ronaldo hat-trick sees him match Messi's Champions League record

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo drew level with his eternal rival at Barcelona, Lionel Messi, on seven Champions League hat-tricks. The Portuguese superstar was once again at his awesome best against Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday, goal.com reported.

His efforts alone would appear to have weighted the last four encounter firmly in favor of the Blancos ahead of a return date across the Spanish capital.

Back-to-back trebles – having achieved the same feat against Bayern Munich last time out – have taken his record-breaking haul in the competition to 103.

Messi has been left behind on 94, with Barca crashing out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage this season.

Ronaldo now has his sights set on another final, having become the first man since Robert Lewandowski in 2012-13 to achieve complete domination of a semifinal clash.

Ronaldo helped Madrid to Champions League glory last season and also claimed the crown in 2013-14, with Atletico overcome in the final on both occasions.

Those successes have been added to the 2007-08 triumph he enjoyed while with Manchester United.

 

Too good to be believed

 

Given the quality of Ronaldo’s performance against Atletico Madrid, it’s probably only right that the legitimacy of the display was verified.

Madrid was in rampant mood thanks to Ronaldo, who headed the opener before the break before finishing powerfully in the second half. His third was a close-range finish late on that completed the tie.

And Sergio Ramos confirmed after the match that authorities had held the attacker back for a routine random drugs test.

“He had to undergo a doping test, so we couldn’t see him,” the club captain announced to the media.

“Obviously, when Cristiano is in good form, Real Madrid make the most out of it.

“I want to congratulate him because he is unique.

“When he is playing well, Real Madrid are a different team.”

Ronaldo, the current Ballon d’Or holder, now has 103 goals in Europe’s top club competition to his name, while Madrid is bidding to become the first team in the Champions League era to retain the trophy as it seeks a twelfth title.

 

Stop whistling me! – Ronaldo

 

Following the match, Ronaldo reiterated his desire not to be whistled at.

He has been the subject of whistles from his home fans at numerous points during the season, but he is eager for that to stop.

"I repeat once, I just want you not to whistle me," Ronaldo told MEGA.

"I'll try to give the best as always."

The 32-year-old lauded his teammates for a performance which has them in control of the tie heading into next week's second leg.

"The team has been tremendous. It was my turn to score the goals, but the team was phenomenal," added Ronaldo.

"It was a perfect match, we have a good advantage, but it's not over. Atletico are very good, but we must be careful on Wednesday."

 

First CL clean sheet

 

After Tuesday's semifinal first leg, most of the attention has been rightly focused on Ronaldo's hat-trick.

But he was not the only reason behind Real Madrid's crushing victory.

Madrid's clean sheet ended a run of 11 straight Champions League matches in which they have conceded, dating back to last season's semifinal against Manchester City.

Zinedine Zidane's side posted clean sheets in both legs of that tie, en route to a 1-0 aggregate win and a final date with Atletico that saw it win their its Champions League title.

 

'Great to have Ronaldo'

 

Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos felt a tactical tweak from Zidane was crucial to his side's dominant win over Atletico Madrid.

Kroos performed masterfully, both in open play and with his persistently challenging dead-ball deliveries, and the Germany international credited Zidane for undoing opposite number Diego Simeone.

Atleti started with Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro in attack but was overrun in midfield behind the French duo, as Casemiro and Luka Modric patrolled central areas and Isco slotted in at number 10.

"It's a very good result, of course. It's much more than we expected – a great game, a great result but it's only the first leg," Kroos told BT Sport.

"We had a very good day, we had good tactics. We always had one more player in midfield. Normally we play with three and three in front but we used four and it allowed us to control the game.

"We had a very good defense and we were able to pass the ball in difficult or dangerous areas.

"I think we did very well and deserved the result. Next week we have to go to Calderon and it’s always difficult there."

Nevertheless, Kroos conceded this effective ploy only bore fruit due to the Santiago Bernabeu's feted superstar.

"It's great to have a player like Ronaldo," he added. "You can play well in defense, you can control the middle but you need a player who can score to get the result.

"He scored five of six goals in the quarterfinals [against Bayern Munich] and here another three – it's unbelievable."

   
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Resource: goal.com
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