Ronaldo's Hat-trick Moves Real Close to 12th Champions League Title

The Real Madrid superstar hit his seventh Champions League treble in the 3-0 semi-final first leg over Atletico Madrid on Tuesday, to give Los Blancos one foot in the final.

"I'm very happy to have struck a hat-trick and made it 400 goals for Real Madrid".

"Perhaps the fans won't boo him any more, but this is the Bernabeu and it can happen from time to time and he knows that", said Zidane.

Real needed a stoppage time equaliser en route to beating Atletico in the 2014 final, scored a late victor in the quarter-finals a year later and edged last season's final between the two on a penalty shootout. He scored in 20th minutes as well.

"The team was tremendous". It's the result of the hard work the team have put in, that I have put in and all the people at the club and the fans, who always support us.

Victory also kept Real on course to become the first side to retain the Champions League in 27 years.

Cristiano Ronaldo has already reached a century of Champions League goals this season, and the 32-year-old is showing no signs of slowing the pace.

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"You can play good in defence, control midfield but in the end you need a player who will score and he did". 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.

Atletico boss Diego Simeone, meanwhile, told his side to forget their latest derby demolition and hope for a miracle at the last European match at their Vicente Calderon stadium next week. "We'll have to be focused for next Wednesday's game".

"I feel relaxed, more than anything else, more than ever".

There was, though, no controversy about Ronaldo's second goal with 17 minutes left as he lashed the ball in from the edge of the Atletico penalty area. The 3-0 scoreline reflects what a good performance it was.

"Football is a marvellous game and anything can happen". We played well from the first to the last whistle.

Madrid captain Sergio Ramos was lucky to escape punishment after crashing his forearm into the back of Lucas Hernandez's head shortly before halftime, but Atletico's headache after this defeat will last longer than the Frenchman's bruise.

  • Julie Sanders