Diego Maradona believes Cristiano Ronaldo is a “wizard” after he kept his promise in scoring a hat-trick in Juventus’ Champions League win against Atletico Madrid.
Despite trailing 2-0 from the first leg of their last-16 tie, Ronaldo reportedly promised to score a treble in the return leg on Tuesday night to enable Juventus to progress to the next round.
And the Portuguese superstar did just that by scoring all three goals in Juventus’ 3-0 victory over Atletico to keep his hopes of a fourth successive Champions League title alive and a first for the club since 1996.
Ronaldo also equalled his long-time rival Lionel Messi for a record eight Champions League hat-tricks and has now taken his tally in the competition up to 124 goals in 160 games.
Upon seeing this for himself, even Argentina great Maradona has been left amazed by the way Ronaldo stayed true to his word after making such a bold promise before the game.
“There are players who have been touched by a magic wand,” said Maradona on Marca.
“The truth is we Argentines are proud that Messi is Argentinian and that he didn’t go off with the Spanish [at international level].
“The other one is an animal. Ronaldo is pure power, and now he’s also a wizard. He said he’d score three goals and he scored three goals.”
Since arriving from Real Madrid last July in a €112m deal, Ronaldo has now scored 24 goals and added 12 assists in his 36 appearances for Juventus this season.
The 34-year-old has impressed everyone by his quick adaption to Italian football with team-mate Blaise Matuidi declaring after the 3-0 win over Atletico that Ronaldo is the world’s best player.
“It was an extraordinary night for everyone – a special night from the first minute,” said the French midfielder.
“We are very happy, and now we are moving ahead with our work. We want to continue to grow in order to progress further in the Champions League.
“We have a strong team, and Cristiano is the best player in the world.”
Ronaldo will likely be back in action for Juventus on Sunday in a trip to Genoa in the Serie A.