Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Cristiano Ronaldo hits back at critics after hat-trick: ‘Goals are in my DNA’


Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at his critics after a remarkable 35th career hat-trick fired Real Madrid past Wolfsburg in their Champions League quarter-final.

Although he has amassed 46 goals in all competitions this season and is top scorer in the Champions League and La Liga, Ronaldo attracted criticism earlier in the campaign for not performing in the biggest games. The Portugal forward even walked out of a news conference in February after facing difficult questions.

“Considering this has been a ‘bad’ season for me it has not been that bad,” Ronaldo said after his goals led Real to a 3-0 second-leg win, securing a 3-2 aggregate victory. 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.”

Ronaldo has 16 goals in the Champions League this season and is on track to break his record of 17 set when Real won the competition in 2013-14. He managed an all-time high of 11 goals in this season’s group stages and against Wolfsburg scored a fifth Champions League hat-trick, matching the record of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for his striker. “What can I tell you about Cristiano?” said the Frenchman. “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.”

Cristiano Ronaldo makes his point, walking off the pitch with the ball under his shirt after scoring his 35th career hat-trick. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

Zidane called the comeback victory his best night as a coach so far.

“It has been my greatest thrill as a coach. It was not simple – it might seem it was when you see the score but it was not. It is incredible after a 2-0 in the first leg. The players have played amazing. It’s my best night.”

The Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking was frustrated his team were not able to ride the early storm as they attempted to reach the last four for the first time.

He told his club’s website: “We didn’t go about the first 20 minutes as we should have. We knew what we had to expect, but when you are on the pitch, it’s only then you see what you have to deal with.

“After the two goals, we got into the game better, had more possession and had a couple of opportunities of our own. What we lacked was the ultimate determination.

“In the second half, Real waited for their opening, which was our chance to hit, but we didn’t manage that. What’s very frustrating is to lose 0-3 having conceded two goals from set pieces.”

Culled from the Guardian

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