Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at his critics after a remarkable 35th career hat-trick fired Real Madrid past VfL Wolfsburg in their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.
Although he has amassed 46 goals in all competitions this season and is top scorer in the Champions League and La Liga, some fingers were pointed at Ronaldo earlier in the campaign for not performing in the biggest games.
The Portugal forward even walked out of a news conference in February after facing difficult questions.
“Considering this has been a ‘bad’ season for me it has not been that bad,” Ronaldo told reporters after his treble led Real to a 3-0 second-leg win over Germans Wolfsburg that secured a 3-2 aggregate victory.
“People can criticise me but I just keep on going and the numbers are there for all to see. I am very happy and with a month left of the season I can get even better.
“It was not the best, but one of my best, European nights,” said Ronaldo.
“It’s not bad is it? Goals are in my DNA and I want to keep scoring them for the team.”
Ronaldo has 16 goals in the Champions League this season and is on track to break his record of 17 set when Real won the competition in 2013-14.
He netted an all-time high of 11 goals in this season’s group stages and against Wolfsburg notched a fifth Champions League hat-trick, matching Barcelona rival Lionel Messi’s record.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane was full of praise for his red-hot striker.
“What can I tell you about Cristiano?”, said the Frenchman. “He is demonstrating how good he is.
“He is the best player in the world and nights like tonight make him a special player. Cristiano needs the whole team too but not everyone can score three goals in a game.
“He makes the difference,” added Zidane.