Real Madrid manager spoke glowingly about hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo in the aftermath of their thrilling 4-2 (6-3 on aggregate) victory over Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, according to a report on the club website (www.realmadrid.com).
Ronaldo scored five goals over the course of two legs, proving once again that it is foolhardy to write him off as even at 32, he can prove decisive in big games.
And his manager spoke highly of the club’s iconic No.7: “When it comes to describing him, he doesn't fit into any category. What we witness Cristiano do is impressive. He's an incredible and magnificent player. The way that he scores and always performs in the big game. He knows that when the important times come along, he's always there.”
Leading the La Liga table and in the last-four of the Champions League suggests that Los Blancos are in fine fettle at the moment and Zidane agrees: "We're on a positive run. We won the game and got through the tie. We've now got an equally tough game to come on Sunday. Everybody played their part. We're happy with the players who played, those who came on and those that didn't feature. We need everyone in the team to help”.
The game on Sunday, is of course, the El Clasico against arch-rivals Barcelona. And Zidane feels despite having an extra day off compared to their opponents (Barcelona play Juventus on Wednesday), going to extra-time against Bayern has fatigued most of his squad: "We played 120 minutes and in the end some players have finished a bit worse for wear. We have now got five days to recover and rest. We are happy with the victory and we will recover quickly. The effort was tremendous.”
He signed off by adding that Ronaldo’s tremendous goalscoring exploits are proof that the booing at the Santiago Bernabeu doesn't faze the Portuguese: "Perhaps they won't boo him anymore. This is the Bernabéu and these things can happen from time to time. He's relaxed because he shows just what he can do out on the pitch. What he's got is something that few players have. In the key games, he's always there. He scored three goals and the fans will be grateful for what Cristiano has done”. A player who is out there on the field, with that tension, it's normal. The fans are not going to question him, these things happen and that's it. You have to take the positives. The fans have been important in helping the team. He provides his answers out on the pitch and he has scored five goals in two games.”