Zinedine Zidane hails era of Cristiano Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo will leave a lasting legacy at Real Madrid like Alfredo Di Stefano has.

Zinedine Zidane hails era of Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo’s brace in a 3-0 win against Juventus last week — which included an incredible overhead kick from the club’s all-time leading scorer — has put Real firmly in charge of their Champions League quarter-final tie ahead of tonight’s return leg in Madrid.

Ronaldo’s spectacular second goal was so impressive that even Juventus fans applauded it and Real president Florentino Perez has called the 33-year-old the “great heir” to Di Stefano, who won five European Cups and scored 308 goals in 396 games between 1953 and 1964.

“I am not thinking about being without Cristiano Ronaldo, this is what we have and we are happy,” Zidane said.

“There are many people who still remember Di Stefano and rightly so. I am one of those people.

“They will also remember Cristiano Ronaldo at this club. We must enjoy this player.”

Juventus were beaten in last year’s final by Zidane’s side and are on the verge of being eliminated by the Spanish giants once again.

The Bianconeri are closing in on their seventh domestic title, while Real are only fourth in the table in Spain.

Zidane, who will be without the banned Sergio Ramos, has also warned his players not to start contemplating who they could potentially meet in the last four or in the final.

“The 3-0 result will not change things for us,” he stressed.

“It’s another game and what happened, happened. It was a good game, but there is still 50% of the tie to be played.”

Juve’s task is all the more difficult because Paulo Dybala is suspended having been dismissed in the first leg.

Defender Giorgio Chiellini believes that, at the very least, a strong performance at the Bernabeu would be beneficial for Juventus’ next European campaign.

“We’re not crying about what happened, and we go to Madrid with the desire to play a good game,” said Chiellini.

“In football and in life you never know what can happen, and to go there and put on a good display, even in view of next year, would be important.”

Champions League quarter-final (second leg): Real Madrid (3) V Juventus (0)

Tonight: Bernabeu, 7.45pm

Referee: Michael Oliver (England)

TV: RTÉ, BT Sport

Bet: Real Madrid 8/12, Juventus 4/1, Draw 10/3

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.241 s