Cristiano Ronaldo has sent a message to his critics after leading Real Madrid to the Champions League semi-finals on Tuesday night (12 April), scoring a hat-trick to overturn a 2-0 deficit to Wolfsburg. The former Manchester United icon took shots at his doubters in a post-match interview, ironically saying: "All in all, for a poor season, it's not so bad..."
Ronaldo was placed under significant scrutiny earlier this season after failing to score in seven of the first eleven games. Many suggested the 31-year-old was past his best, and he was even booed by Real Madrid fans amid questions over his commitment to the club. The Portuguese star did little to silence those critics, openly flirting with a move to Paris Saint-Germain or a shock return to Old Trafford and drawing a blank in disappointing La Liga defeats to Barcelona, Sevilla and Villarreal.
However, CR7 has since returned to top form, scoring 42 times in his last 42 appearances. The former Ballon d'Or netted in the recent 2-1 victory over Barcelona in El Clasico and added another three to his tally against Wolfsburg in a riposte to those who claim he always goes missing in big games.
Ronaldo did not miss a chance to hit back at his haters in a post-match interview, Speaking to Spanish media, he said: "All in all, for a poor season, it's not so bad...
"I'm very happy. This is what we have been working hard for. God helps those who work hard, and now we are one step away; everything is possible. And just look at Manchester City [going through], which many people didn't expect. Football is full of surprises and anything can happen. I'm happy because we are one step away from going all the way to the final".
"It's not the most important game I've played. Despite the three goals, I've had better games. People know that I always give evrything. The numbers don't lie. I know that when you work hard, the results come. God helps those who work hard. I'm going home to bed now and I feel great."
Ronaldo set a Champions League goal record two seasons ago, netting 17 times as Real Madrid finally won La Decima. He is just one goal away from equalling that tally, but asked if he was under pressure to break his own record he said: "We'll see. Goals come naturally. But obviously I would love to break my record."