Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Zidane lauds 'beautiful' Cristiano Ronaldo after Real Madrid double against Juventus


Zinedine Zidane described Cristiano Ronaldo as "one of the most beautiful players in the history of football" after his stunning goal for Real Madrid against Juventus.

Ronaldo became the first player to score in 10 successive Champions League games as he struck twice for holders Real Madrid in a 3-0 win in Tuesday's quarter-final first leg.

The second goal in the 64th minute will live long in the memory as Ronaldo launched himself into the air and beat Gianluigi Buffon with a superb overhead kick.

Juventus fans stood to applaud the effort, and Real Madrid head coach Zidane said: "You can say he's one of the most beautiful players in the history of football.

"He shows every time that he is a special player. He always wants to do great things in the Champions League and he never gets tired of doing it, that's his great quality.

"Cristiano is in good form at the moment. His team-mates are very happy with him. We need to enjoy tonight, but then think about the hard work ahead of next week because Juve won't give up."

Such was the calibre of finish for Ronaldo's second goal, Zidane was left shaking his head in disbelief.

"I don't know if Cristiano's goal is the best in the history of football, but it's certainly an extraordinary goal," said Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri. "You can only congratulate him for what he's doing at present.

"However, I am disappointed about the third goal, because at that point we still could have turned the tie in the second leg. Now it will be impossible."

Marcelo scored Real Madrid's third in the 72nd minute, shortly after Paulo Dybala had been dismissed for a second yellow card.

The return leg takes place at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, April 11, when veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon could make his final appearance in the competition.

He says he was not surprised to see Ronaldo produce such a sublime finish.

"At his best? No, I think he was the usual Ronaldo. Messi and he can be compared to Maradona and Pele for what they have been doing season after season," he said.

"We made a few mistakes, but it can happen when you face the best.

"We feel a real sense of disappointment because we probably won't qualify. That's a real shame, but against some teams you have to be calm and congratulate them, because objectively they're a stronger side."

Sky Sports

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