Champions League: Hat-trick hero Cristiano Ronaldo revels in centre-forward role

Ronaldo hit a hat-trick for the second game running in the competition to give his side a 3-0 semi-final first-leg lead that puts them firmly on course to reach the final in Cardiff.

Cristiano Ronaldo says Real Madrid can not take their Champions League semi-final lead over Atletico Madrid for granted - although he accepts it is "a very good" advantage. It was his easiest goal of the night, he controlled Lucas Vazquez's cross, then fired home.

Ronaldo is now just one goal behind Barcelona rival Lionel Messi as the Champions League's top scorer this season with 10.

The controversy dates back to September 2010 and a match that saw Real Madrid beat Real Sociedad 2-1. "He is unique. All the players were brilliant", the Real Madrid coach said at his post-match press conefercne, as quoted by the official UEFA website.

Regardless of the tally, Ronaldo says he feels primed for a crucial run of fixtures in Madrid's pursuit of a LaLiga and Champions League double, though he says his achievements are simply down to hard work. In previous years he has struggled physically at this stage but Zidane has sought to protect him through rotation and rest. "I am happy with what I am doing here and with the players, we played a great game". "Ronaldo said, The team was tremendous".

"The team was incredible, it was a complete match", said Ronaldo, who reached the 400-goal milestone in his 389th game with Madrid. We deserved a complete game against them. Our opening half an hour was fantastic and we had a lot of chances to have got a second, but we didn't manage to do so until after the break.

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"It seems impossible, but it is football and football has these unexpected things that make it marvellous".

Diego Simeone's men came into the tie seeking a measure of vengeance having lost to Los Blancos in each of the past three seasons, but fell short yet again in one of their worst nights in European football.

He has now scored more goals in the competition than Atletico ever have.

"Until the last drip of hope is gone, we will give it everything we have".

It mattered little as Madrid made short work of Atletico's famously misery rearguard soon afterwards.

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