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Ronaldo revels in son's hat-trick days after his own against Atletico

Ronaldo revels in son's hat-trick days after his own against Atletico

## He is the only man to have scored more than 50 goals in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

The benefits of playing fewer games this term were evident as the Portuguese forward scored a dazzling hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday to take Real to the brink of a third Champions League final, in contrast to the withered state in which he finished last season.

Sticking with Cristiano Ronaldo has been an unusually tricky option this season, but eight goals in three games - yielding 66 points for my team because he was my captain for the last two matches - have rewarded my patience at the competition's business end.

The defending champions, who lead the Spanish league on the head-to-head tiebreaker but have played one game more than Madrid, will need to be at their best on Saturday against a Villarreal team with the league's second-best defense.

Ahead of Saturday evening's La Liga game at Granada, Zidane was asked if he could take credit for managing Ronaldo's fitness and keeping him focused on the most important goals.

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"Fabio will be with us tomorrow" Zidane confirmed while providing mixed news in the other two defenders. Three rounds before the finish of the season, Granada with 20 points ranked 19 in the table and can only go lower, but not rise.

"They will give their all against Real Madrid and they have some quality players".

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who coached Ronaldo at Real, previously insisted Hazard performed better than the Portugal worldwide in 2014 when he won the Ballon d'Or award.

Ronaldo used to have a reputation for not stamping his mark when it really mattered but in recent years he has refuted that notion, most notably leading Portugal to the European Championship crown last summer. It has been some 12 months even by is standards. Former Manchester United team-mate turned pundit Gary Neville recently stated he believed Ronaldo has altered his approach to his individual game in order to continue the longevity of his game. "If you don't win, you're sent home, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming, trying to win everything possible and working hard".

The pressure is very much on Sporting, but the fact is that if Rubi were able to choose a rival "a la carte" for this weekend Las Palmas would probably be top of the menu. But when they were on the pitch, they were all good pros.

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