Carlo Ancelotti said everyone expects Cristiano Ronaldo’s performances to decline but the Juventus superstar never fails on the big stage after his stunning Champions League hat-trick on Tuesday.
Ronaldo scored a record-equalling eighth Champions League hat-trick as Juve defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0 en route to the quarter-finals.
Juve trailed 2-0 after the first leg last month but five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo took centre stage in Turin, where his treble completed a memorable comeback.
Napoli head coach Ancelotti – who won the 2013-14 Champions League with Ronaldo at Real Madrid – heaped praise on the 34-year-old forward.
“Ronaldo never fails in these games,” Ancelotti told Sky Sport Italia. “There are great players who play well in the important matches but he celebrates himself.
“This is the difference between the great players and champions, like him.
“Everyone expects his performance to go down, but it doesn’t. It never goes down.”
“With him, I lived good moments, the others are likely doing the same. I have already enjoyed enough with him,” added Ancelotti, whose Napoli will take a 3-0 lead into the second leg of their Europa League last-16 clash against Red Bull Salzburg.
“Juventus? They are very strong, Atletico are not easy to deal with. Juve made an extraordinary impression.”
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