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Cristiano Ronaldo v Wolfsburg: Highlights, Reaction to Real Madrid Hat-Trick

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2016

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring during the Champions League 2nd leg quarterfinal soccer match between Real Madrid and VfL Wolfsburg at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday April 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Paul White/Associated Press

Cristiano Ronaldo set a UEFA Champions League goalscoring record by hitting a hat-trick in Real Madrid's quarter-final second leg against Wolfsburg.

The three goals maintained Ronaldo's sensational scoring run since he joined Madrid in 2009, per the Sunday World's Kevin Palmer:

Kevin Palmer @RealKevinPalmer

That makes it 359 goals in 342 games for @Cristiano at Real Madrid after his hat-trick tonight #legend https://t.co/HIbnbO0hCG

BT Sport's official YouTube channel provided highlights of all three goals from Madrid's man of the moment:

It means Ronaldo has now punished a large inventory of teams in this competition, according to B/R UK Instagram:

Ronaldo's trio of goals helped Los Blancos overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit and advance to the semi-finals with a 3-2 aggregate win at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Real's prolific No. 7 bagged his first two goals in as many minutes to become the tournament's top scorer this season, per the competition's official site:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

Two in two minutes for @Cristiano! Real Madrid level on aggregate... Ronaldo has 15 #UCL goals in 10 games! https://t.co/efZpfqTeFD

That double salvo not only levelled the tie, it also helped the free-scoring Portuguese powerhouse set a record in Europe's premier club competition, according to ESPN's Dermot Corrigan:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Ronaldo now onto 15 Champions League goals this season, a record 92 in the tournament

Hitting the 15-goal mark in the Champions League claimed another piece of history for Ronaldo, per Squawka:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player in Champions League history to score 15 goals in a season. He's done it twice! https://t.co/b8x9eQhl8S

To put that awesome achievement into an equally impressive context, OptaJohan provided this note:

OptaJohan @OptaJohan

15 - Only Cristiano Ronaldo himself in 2013/14 (17) scored more in one CL season than @Cristiano Ronaldo in 2015/16 (15). Phenomenon.

It took a free-kick for Ronaldo to wrap up his hat-trick and put Madrid ahead in the tie.

As Squawka pointed out, one more hat-trick in this competition drew Ronaldo level with his greatest professional rival:

Squawka Football @Squawka

No player has scored more Champions League hat-tricks than Cristiano Ronaldo (5), level with Lionel Messi. https://t.co/Beoya1LJsv

Madrid had needed this kind of display from Ronaldo on a night when Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio was in otherwise stellar form.

The tournament's official site detailed how well the ultimately overwhelmed Swiss stopper performed:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

.@VfLWolfsburg_EN's Diego Benaglio made 5 saves, including 2 outstanding stops. Not much more he could do. #UCL https://t.co/vsZiz6nSKD

But even at his best, Benaglio couldn't have stopped Ronaldo on this night, a fact Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking admitted about his entire team, per Corrigan:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Wolfsburg coach Hecking: "Unfortunately we didnt understand what we had to do. 1-0 was bad goal to give away. But 2nd unstoppable, 3rd too."

Meanwhile, Los Blancos' head coach Zinedine Zidane was content to simply pay tribute to his all-conquering goal-getter, a player the Frenchman feels knows no equal in today's game:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Zidane: “What can I say about Cristiano Ronaldo. He has showed again he is the best player in the world. He is a special player."

Now Ronaldo is just one short of equalling his own record in this tournament. What is for sure is that Madrid will still only go as far as their attacking talisman can take them.

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