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.
“Cristiano demolishes Bayern,” said the front cover of Madrid sport daily AS.
A celebrating Ronaldo also graced the front page of rival sports paper Marca with the headline: “Madrid rules Europe” as Atletico Madrid edged out Leicester City 2-1 on aggregate to reach the last four of the Champions League for the third time in four seasons.
However, Real needed more than a little help to finish the tie off after Ronaldo’s double in the first leg had given them a 2-1 lead in Munich.
Ronaldo’s second on Tuesday to bring up a century in the competition — including qualifiers — and third to round off his hat-trick were allowed to stand despite the Portuguese clearly being offside.
Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti called for the introduction of video refereeing after Arturo Vidal was harshly sent off with the tie delicately balanced at 3-3 on aggregate with five minutes remaining of normal time.
“There is a lot of anger because the referee put us out the Champions League,” said a furious Vidal.
Madrid boss and Ancelotti’s former assistant Zinedine Zidane understandably wanted the attention focused on his four-time World Player of the Year rather than Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai.
“When you see what Cristiano is doing, it is really impressive,” said Zidane.
“He always knows when there’s an important moment he’s going to be there.
“He’s out of this world. There are few players who will manage to do what Ronaldo has done.”
Ronaldo now 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.
Real fans were quick to make their feelings known as the 32-year-old produced an error-strewn first-half display.
It is not the first time the Bernabeu natives have booed Ronaldo and he grew increasingly desperate to find the net with a series of wild efforts, including at one point ignoring strike partner Karim Benzema to go for goal himself, infuriating the home crowd.