Cristiano Ronaldo claimed goals are in his DNA as his hat-trick helped Real Madridoverturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit and reach the Champions League semi-finals on a “perfect night” at the Bernabeu.
The Portuguese scored two early goals to calm nerves for Zinedine Zidane’s men, but saw his side cede momentum and go back into their shell.
Wary of the away goal, Madrid’s ponderous display threatened to derail a memorable comeback until Ronaldo stepped up 13 minutes from time to stroke home the decisive free-kick from 20 yards and complete his 35th hat-trick for the club.
“35 hat-tricks. It’s not bad is it? Goals are in my DNA and I just want to keep scoring them for the team,” Ronaldo said.
“It had to be a magic night and it was,” he added. “It was the perfect game in the end. We had to be patient for an hour but it was the perfect night.”
The trio of goals took Ronaldo’s total to 46 in what has widely been considered as a poor campaign from the 31-year-old. And the former Manchester United man was keen to take a swipe at critics after such a stunning performance.
“Considering this has been a ‘bad’ season for me it has not been that bad. People can criticise me but I just keep in 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 one of my best European nights, not the best but one of my best.”