Cristiano Ronaldo completed his hat-trick against Wolfsburg in style.
The Real Madrid man has scored some wonderful free-kicks in his career - the effort for Manchester United against Portsmouth springs to mind as one of his finer strikes - and he has another to add to the list.
Ronaldo lined up from 25-yards in Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final tie against the Bundesliga outfit and clipped a neat effort beyond Diego Benaglio.
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And while the Wolfsburg goalkeeper was reeling, the Real Madrid one was buzzing.
That’s because Keylor Navas is responsible for improving Ronaldo’s free-kick technique with a few words of advice.
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The 31-year-old is famous for running full blast and cracking a shot towards goal. Countless times the ball has flown into the wall or 10 yards over the crossbar.
And it was easy for Navas to see that Ronaldo needed to calm things down.
“We train together,” Ronaldo said after the game, per AS. “And he’ll kill me for telling you, but he said that I should take it slowly, not run at full pelt because he knew I’d score.”
It was his 41st time the former Manchester United star has scored a free-kick in his career, and his 37th for Los Blancos.
Madrid came from 2-0 down to reach the semi-finals for the sixth straight season thanks to Ronaldo’s virtuoso display. He scored twice in two first-half minutes before sealing the tie with his 25-yard strike.
And the winger was gushing after the game, admitting scoring goals is what he does best. He even hit back at critics who have questioned his performances.
“Considering this has been a ‘bad’ season for me it has not been that bad,” he told reporters, per The Guardian. “People can criticise me but I just keep on going and the numbers are there for all to see. I am very happy and with a month left of the season I can get even better.
“It was not the best, but one of my best, European nights. It’s not bad is it? Goals are in my DNA and I want to keep scoring them for the team.”
Two seasons ago Ronaldo set a record when he scored 17 goals in the Champions League en route to Madrid’s European glory. With 16 already this time around, he’s almost certain to break his own record.
Zinedine Zidane couldn’t praise his star man highly enough, claiming that he, and not Lionel Messi, is the best player in the world.
“What can I tell you about Cristiano?”, the Frenchman said. “He is demonstrating how good he is.
“He is the best player in the world and nights like tonight make him a special player. Cristiano needs the whole team too but not everyone can score three goals in a game. He makes the difference.”
Ronaldo is an even greater threat now after tweaking his free-kick routine.