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Cristiano Ronaldo.

What Cristiano Ronaldo said after scoring first Real Madrid hat-trick in 2010

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Cristiano Ronaldo, hat-trick hero - how many times have we heard that before?

For the second time this season, the Portugal international single-handedly tore Atletico Madrid to pieces on Tuesday in the Champions League semi-finals.

Whereas in previous years Ronaldo has relied upon his pace and skill to score goals, he's now using his intelligence and movement to create goalscoring opportunities.

His second goal, for example, saw Ronaldo drift inside and eventually receive the ball on the edge of the area before lashing a fierce half-volley past Jan Oblak.

And for his third, the 32-year-old was in the right place at the right time to meet Lucas Vazquez's cross and calmly slot home.

Incredibly, Ronaldo's hat-trick against Atletico was the 47th of his career, 41 of which coming for Real Madrid and only one during his time at Manchester United.

Ahead of Tuesday's Madrid derby, Rio Ferdinand recalled a conversation he had with the Portuguese recently about the secret to his success.

"You can see this guy is relentless," Ferdinand explained on BT Sport. "I spoke to him during the week [and asked]: 'What is it that makes you, and got you where you are?'

"Hard work and determination is all he said, nothing else. And it's true, the basics have got him where he is and the talent separates him.

FBL-EUR-C1-REAL-MADRID-BAYERN-MUNICH

"You can't say enough about the likes of him in today's game. When he retires we will really understand what this guy has done for football - 41 hat-tricks!"

Ronaldo's work ethic and determination to be the best is largely unrivalled in world football, hence why he's been such a phenomenon in the Spanish capital.

From day one Real knew they had signed a superstar, though it took him almost a year to notch his first hat-trick for the club.

Back in May 2010, in a 4-1 win over Real Mallorca, Ronaldo scored three goals in 46 minutes to mark the beginning of a quite remarkable run. Check it out below.

RONALDO'S 1ST HAT-TRICK FOR REAL

Ronaldo's hat-trick was fantastic, from lobbing Mallorca's goalkeeper for his first to beating three defenders and providing a clinical finish for the hat-trick.

The winger's comments after scoring his first hat-trick for Real were just as epic and what he said has come true.

"I have to thank my teammates for helping me to settle and score so many goals," he said. "It's my first year here and I want to be a champion."

Seven years later and Ronaldo is the champion he always hoped to be at Real, with a second La Liga title in the offing should he keep up his goalscoring form.

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