Diego Maradona hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as a “sorcerer” after the magical Juventus star fulfilled his pre-match prediction by scoring a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid.
The Italian club’s share price shot up by 20% after reaching the Champions League quarter-finals to pay back another chunk of the Portuguese’s £85m transfer fee.
And Maradona said: “There are players who have been touched by a magic wand. We Argentines are proud that Lionel Messi is Argentinian.
“The other one is an animal. Ronaldo is pure power, and now he’s also a sorcerer. He said he’d score three goals and he scored three goals.”
The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star netted his eighth Champions League hat-trick to draw level with Messi to extend his record tally to 124 goals in 160 matches. He has scored 63 times in the knockout stages.
With Juventus bidding to win the Champions League for the first time since 1996, midfielder Blaise Matuidi said: “He has already won the competition five times, he can win it again. He showed again on Tuesday that he is the No.1.”