Sergio Ramos has hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest player in the world after his brace helped down Barcelona on Tuesday night - and says the Portuguese superstar now has his sights set on beating Manchester United in the Champions League.
Ronaldo's brace in the 3-1 win - only their fourth at the Camp Nou in the last ten years - helped Madrid stun their rivals and earned them a showdown against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey final.
Now attention turns to Madrid's last-16 Champions League clash against Manchester United next week, with the tie delicately poised after a 1-1 draw in the first leg at the Bernabeu earlier this month.
Ronaldo cancelled out Danny Welbeck's opener with a fine header in his first game against Manchester United since leaving the club in 2009 for a record £80 million, taking his Champions League tally to seven for the season.
Ramos says he is backing Ronaldo to fire Real Madrid to the quarter-fianls at Manchester United's expense on his first game back at Old Trafford because of his ability to come good when his side need him the most.
“Cristiano is the best player in the world and in the big games he always shows up. He always responds," the Real Madrid vice-captain said.
“Against Barcelona you always suffer but we worked hard. We were effective and left the Nou Camp feeling like we did a great job. The planning and tactics were ideal.
The win against Barcelona proved to be the perfect remedy for a Madrid side under fire for their faltering league campaign.
Los Blancos sit 16 points behind Barcelona and have all but surrendered their La Liga crown to their fierce rivals - and given the gulf between the two teams this season Ronaldo admits he was shocked by the result on Tuesday.
He said: “The truth is I did not expect it. Now we have to go to Manchester and this result gives us huge confidence.
“It was a great game and we played well. From the first to the last minute we were serious and had a great attitude. We played better than Barcelona.
“We must carry on with this belief. Most players love playing here. Things are coming off for us.”