Cristiano Ronaldo said Real Madrid’s progress to the Champions League final is not yet sealed after scoring all of his side’s goals in a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in Tuesday night’s semifinal first leg.
The Portugal forward headed Real in front on 10 minutes, then in the second half lashed the ball in from the edge of the Atletico penalty area, before Ronaldo turning in a Lucas Vazquez cut-back on 86 minutes to complete his treble.
“It was a total game from the team, we played phenomenally well,” he said after the game, “We have a good advantage, but it is not over yet. Atletico are very strong, they are not in the semi-finals by chance, and we must keep our concentration next Wednesday.”
Ronaldo became the first player to record three career hat tricks in the Champions League knockout stage, just two weeks after the second time he accomplished the feat against Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals.
He also went level with Lionel Messi with his seventh treble in the competition as a whole. Five of those came after he turned 30, while no one else has more than one upon entering their 30s.
Of Ronaldo’s 52 career goals in the knockout stage, 13 of them have come in the semifinals, and he is the fourth player with a hat trick in this round — the first since Robert Lewandowski in 2013.
His third goal also brought him on the cusp of another landmark, as it was his 399th with Real Madrid — though the club already credits him with 400 because of one disputed goal in 2010.
Afterward, he attempted to remain humble, saying: “The whole team deserves to be congratulated, they were tremendous. It just fell to me to score the goals.
“We played very well from the start to finish, and the goals came naturally. We deserved a complete game against them. In La Liga we did well, but [Atletico keeper Jan] Oblak made a lot of saves, and today the ball went in.
“I am very happy for the goals that I have scored, and to reach 400 with Real Madrid.”
Following his performance against Bayern last month, Ronaldo asked the fans at the Bernabeu not to whistle him, and after his third goal on Tuesday he again gestured for supporters to applaud him instead.
He mimed a whistle by putting his fingers to his mouth, then shook his index fingers before clapping.
Asked about his celebration, Ronaldo said: “I just want them not to whistle me. I will always try and give everything for them.”