Sunday, April 30, 2017

Zidane hails Ronaldo: He makes the difference

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 18 Apr 2017

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Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane lauded Cristiano Ronaldo for making the difference to send his side into the Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Bayern Munich.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Madrid claimed a controversy-filled 4-2 win after extra time in the second leg at Santiago Bernabeu, progressing 6-3 on aggregate on Tuesday.

However, the Portugal star’s two goals in extra time were offside, after Arturo Vidal was harshly sent off for Bayern late in regulation.

Zidane was full of praise for Ronaldo, who was whistled by his home fans on his way to becoming the first player to reach 100 goals in the Champions League.

“He has shown that in the key moments, he is there. He makes the difference,” the Frenchman told a news conference.

“When he has to be, he is. He is unique and we are happy for him and for the team. And for the people who have helped us in the Bernabeu.”

A Robert Lewandowski penalty and Sergio Ramos own goal, either side of Ronaldo’s equaliser, sent the quarter-final into extra time.

But Ronaldo’s double and a Marco Asensio goal sealed Madrid’s progression to the last four and Zidane felt it was deserved, despite the controversy.

“We played against the best team by the way, but we scored six goals and they scored three, so we deserved to go through,” Zidane said.

“We had a lot of chances in the first half and then we were not comfortable.”

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