Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Zidane praises Ronaldo heroics

Zidane praises Ronaldo heroics

Diego Simeone asked players which did not want to play in next week's Champions League second leg to speak up after Real Madrid defeat.

Monaco hosts Juventus in the first leg of the other semifinal on Wednesday. "It's not easy to score three times against such a hard opponent and keep a clean sheet".

Despite Ronaldo's heroics-and yet another prolific season in front of goal-he has also put in a number of subpar performances this year, and some Madridistas have been quick to vent their frustrations. He said: "The team did a tremendous job, we were outstanding".

There was, though, no controversy about Ronaldo's second goal with 17 minutes left as he lashed the ball in from the edge of the Atletico penalty area.

Here's a round-up of the Champions League action.

Atletico only had one shot on target and will need to pull off one of the Champions League's all-time special performances to stop double-chasing Real from ending their European dreams for the fourth straight season. Madrid had 11 attempts against only one for Atletico in the first half alone.

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The plaudits, however, belonged once again to the extraordinary Ronaldo, who followed up his hat-trick against Bayern Munich in the quarter-final second leg at the Bernabeu with another superb treble, his 42nd in all for Madrid. It ended with 16 against four for Atletico.

He followed that up with with a powerful half-volleyed finish past Jan Oblak and then completed his hat-trick with just a few minutes remaining to leave Atletico needing a miracle to advance. We still have the second leg.

Last year, Cristiano Ronaldo led Portugal to the UEFA Euro 2016 championship, the first major tournament victory in the country's soccer history.

The Argentinian, however, has not given up on his team's chances yet. Madrid is still fighting with Barcelona for the title in the Spanish league, a competition is hasn't won since 2012. The result also brings the Whites closer to the Cardiff finals.

Tuesday's loss at the Bernabeu was the first for Atletico in 16 away games.

Zidane added: "We are content, very happy and we can enjoy it but we still have a long way to go in the Champions League and La Liga".

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