Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick to help Real Madrid complete stunning Champions League comeback

Cristiano RonaldoPaul White/AP

Cristiano Ronaldo put his team on his back on Tuesday, scoring three goals to propel Real Madrid to a 3-0 victory in the second leg of a Champions League quarterfinal matchup with Wolfsburg. With the win, Madrid advanced to the semifinals, winning with an aggregate score of 3-2 in the two matches.

Entering the game, German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg held the surprising advantage over Madrid, having won the first leg of the quarterfinal, 2-0. But nothing could stand in the way of Cristiano, who scored two goals in two minutes in the first half to tie the aggregated score. Then, in the 65th minute, a Ronaldo free kick snuck through the wall and into the net to give the Spaniards the advantage.

Let’s take a look at the highlights.

Ronaldo’s first goal came on a tap in early in the match.

.@Cristiano Ronaldo tapped in from close range to open the scoring for Real Madrid vs Wolfsburg. #UCL#UCLonFOX

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 12, 2016

He doubled the home side’s advantage shortly thereafter:

Wolfsburg led Real Madrid 2-0 on aggregate, then @Cristiano happened. 2 goals in 2 minutes! @HeinekenSoccer#UCL

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 12, 2016

In the second half, he scored a patented knuckleballing free kick, which barely eked through the Wolfsburg wall:

.@Cristiano Ronaldo nets 5th #UCL hat trick to give Real a 3-2 aggregate lead over Wolfsburg. @HeinekenSoccer#UCL

— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 12, 2016

The hat trick gave Ronaldo 16 goals in this year’s Champions League, and 93 career goals in the competition, an all-time record. Ronaldo sometimes faces criticism for not showing up in the biggest moments. But after his performance on Tuesday, he can confidently brush those criticisms aside.

Manchester City also advanced to the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday. The winners of Benfica vs. Bayern Munich, and Atletico Madrid vs. Barcelona, to be decided Wednesday, will complete the competition’s final four.

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