Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 47th hat-trick of his illustrious career in Real Madrid’s win over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
The Portuguese superstar, who also scored three in Madrid’s 4-2 win over Bayern Munich last month, all but booked Los Blancos’ place in the final in Cardiff after single-handedly putting Diego Simeone’s side to the sword.
There is some controversy over what Ronaldo’s third goals means for his goalscoring record. Madrid are claiming he has now scored 400 goals for the club, but the official records state he is on 399 because his goal against Real Sociedad in 2010 was later taken away from him and awarded to Pepe.
That didn’t prevent Madrid president Florentino Perez from giving the 32-year-old a commemorative shirt at Madrid’s training complex on Wednesday.
"It's something very special,” Ronaldo said on the achievement, per Madrid’s website. “It's a lot of goals, I didn’t expect it.
“It is the fruit of the work of the whole team, my work, all the people who work in the club and the fans, who always support us. It’s an extra motivation to always play for this shirt.
“I feel very happy and I want to try to give my best in the years that I have on my contract, to score goals as always and to help Real Madrid win titles.”
Ronaldo: I'm happy I'm from this planet
Ronaldo attributed his success to three things: dedication, hard work and a little bit of luck.
“We're one step closer to Cardiff and we're happy,” he added. “I feel very good, I've prepared myself to be in good shape for the final stages of the league and Champions League.
“You also need a bit of luck, because I've been preparing but things are going well; not only for me, but also for the team.
“That's why I say that with dedication and hard work, as always, things come naturally. I'm happy and lucky and I'm from this planet.”
CR7's third goal was decisive
The tie tilted heavily in Real’s favour when Ronaldo scored his third goal in the 86th minute. Atleti still had hope at 2-0 - and an away goal would have left the tie finely poised.
But their task became incredibly difficult when the four-time Ballon d’Or winner added a third, tucking the ball past Jan Oblak following good work on the right from Lucas Vazquez.
Footage shows what Ronaldo did before his goal
Spanish TV channel El Chiringuito have released some fascinating footage of how the goal happened. Tracking Ronaldo’s movements, they followed CR7 as he tracked back, helped reorganise the defence and then exploded forward to set up and score his goal.
Check out the video below.
Video: What Ronaldo did before his goal
Hard work and dedication? Yeah, Ronaldo has that in abundance.
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