Cristiano Ronaldo once again showed his class after scoring yet another hat-trick as Real over ran their Madrid neighbours Atletico in style in the first leg to put one foot into the finals of the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s heroics once again bring to the fore the debate of the Worlds’ greatest of all time with his and his tightest rival(for individual accolades) Lionel Messi’s name being the most forwarded in recent times.
And with Messi just a few day back adding more points in his favour at the El-Classico which his team Barcelona won 3-2 at Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo responded in emphatic fashion with his 47th hat-trick which wil go a long way in swaying the debate in the course of time.
However more importantly, this will have a significant part to play in determining who wins the next Ballon ‘Dor and FIFA player of the year awards that have since been split up. The debate for The Greatest of all time will rage on and everyone will have their take with names like Brazil’s Pele and Ronaldo Da Lima and Ronaldhino still in the picture.
On the individual stage the Portuguese forward has now drawn first blood in the final bend of where the individual Awards will end as his team also took a huge step as well.
Ronaldo’s former Manchester united team mate Phil Neville has also come up openly to add more fuel into the debate fire by claiming Ronaldo is up there alongside Pele and George Best.
“I listened to my dad talk for 20 years about George Best and Pele and Cristiano Ronaldo is easily the equal of those. Neville said after yesterday’s game which he watched from Spain.
What sets Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi apart is that they deliver on the big occasion. We aren’t talking about the two best players in the world, we are talking about the two best players who have ever lived. I think that’s how good these two players are.” He added.
Real who are chasing a double were clearly the dominant side throughout against their city rivals which they also beat in Last season’s finals led after 10 minutes when Ronaldo headed home Casemiro’s cross.
Ronaldo who is now the top scorer in the history of the Champions League with 103 goals, added the second after 73minutes following a lucky bounce which he smashed in the top corner from 16 yards past Atletico keeper Jan Oblak, who had made several saves to keep his side in the tie.
He then rounded off the night with the third in the 86th minute with the easiest of goals to wrap it up. That was the eighth goal in only his last three games and a second consecutive Champions League hat-trick having scored five goals in the quarter-final against Bayern Munich.
Real coach Zinadine Zidane said “Cristiano is a goalscorer. He is unique. All the players were brilliant.
“I am happy with what I am doing here and with the players, we played a great game. We can hurt any side with our weapons.”
The other semi-finalists Juventus of Italy and Monaco of France meet tonight in another interesting encounter.