Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zidane: Ronaldo keeps doing amazing things for Real Madrid

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 15 Feb 2018

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Zinedine Zidane said he is running out of words to describe Cristiano Ronaldo after the Real Madrid star’s record-breaking double inspired a 3-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Ronaldo became the first player to score 100 goals for the same club in Europe’s elite club competition in Wednesday’s come-from-behind opening-leg win against PSG at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner reached the milestone with a penalty on the stroke of half-time, cancelling out Adrien Rabiot’s 33rd-minute opener in the last-16 fixture.

Ronaldo improved his tally to 101 goals after he put Madrid 2-1 ahead with seven minutes remaining before Marcelo added a third for the European holders.

Speaking to reporters, head coach Zidane said: “It’s difficult to say the same thing about Ronaldo every day. He keeps doing amazing things.”

Spearheaded by Neymar, PSG controlled proceedings for periods and it appeared only a matter of time before the French giants added to their away goal.

However, Zidane’s substitutions turned the game in Madrid’s favour as Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez made immediate impacts off the bench.

Despite Madrid’s two-goal advantage, Zidane insisted he is taking nothing for granted ahead of the return fixture on March 6.

“We played a good game all the way through,” Zidane said. “We pressed high and continued to play our game even when they went ahead. It was a deserved win. We got a great win tonight. But we know there’s still another match to go – it will be a very tough game. We saw last year [in the semi-finals, 3-0 home win against Atletico Madrid; Atletico then won 2-1 at home] that when you play away anything can happen. The fans were key today. They didn’t let up at any point, even at 1-0 down they kept on cheering us on.

“With Isco in the team we wanted to dominate midfield and he did a great job. He was mobile all night, particularly at the beginning of the game. We changed things towards the end because we knew Paris would tire and bringing on Asensio, Bale and Vazquez helped us to take advantage of that.”

Zidane, whose Madrid are 17 points adrift of LaLiga leaders Barcelona in their faltering title defence, added: “This club has won 12 European Cups and the players know how important it is. We played well, but not only with the ball. We defended so well without the ball with intensity and that’s just as important.

“We’re happy with what we did today. They were 90 incredible minutes with intensity and aggression against a great opponent. The Champions League is important for the club and what we want to do is enjoy what we’ve done and tomorrow we’re thinking about the second leg.”

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