After scoring a hat-trick vs Bayern to send Real Madrid into the semis and take his Champions League goal tally to a record 101, star striker requests fans not to slam him
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring against Bayern Munich by gesturing to a section of the home fans at the Bernabeu Stadium to stop booing him during their Champions League quarter-final second leg in Madrid on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo defied boos from Real Madrid’s infamously demanding fans to “demolish” Bayern Munich and set another personal milestone with 101 Champions League goals.
On a night of high drama and controversy at the Santiago Bernabeu the Portuguese striker once again dominated the headlines with a hat-trick to send the holders into the semi-finals for a record seventh straight year. But they needed extra time — and some questionable officiating — to beat 10-man Bayern 4-2 on Tuesday to seal a 6-3 aggregate win.
Ronaldo has a remarkable 85 Champions League goals in as many games since joining Madrid in 2009. However, he had been on his longest European goal drought for Los Blancos having failed to score in six Champions League games before the first leg last week. And Real fans were quick to make their feelings known as the 32-year-old produced an error-strewn first-half display. Ronaldo grew desperate to find the net with a series of wild efforts, including once ignoring strike partner Karim Benzema to go for goal himself, infuriating the home crowd. “The only thing I ask is that they don’t boo me because I give my best in every game,” Ronaldo said later. He had already made his point with a hush gesture by pointing his finger to his lips after heading home his opening goal.
Ronaldo hailed manager Zinedine Zidane’s repeated brave decisions to rest him throughout the course of the campaign for his upturn in form at the most crucial part of the season. “I have worked hard to try and be on top form come the end of the season. That’s something I have been struggling to do the last three or four years because I played every minute,” Ronaldo told UEFA.com.