Sergio Ramos has called team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo the best player in the world after his inspirational performance led Real Madrid to an incredible 3-1 win at Barcelona in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final.
The capital outfit will contest the final on May 18 after a pair of goals from the Portuguese and a header from Raphael Varane saw them progress by a 4-2 aggregate scoreline, with Jordi Alba’s last-ditch strike coming too late to have any consequence.
And Ramos was full of praise for Ronaldo’s display, telling reporters: “For me, Cristiano is the best in the world, and has always shown up in these types of games.
“We have done very well because against Barcelona it is complicated to find space. The result is deserved.”
Ramos also had kind words for the performance of central defensive partner Varane, who scored a goal in either leg and was outstanding throughout the tie.
"Young people like Varane must be given opportunities to play, and tonight, we have seen the positives [of this approach],” enthused the defender.
Former Madrid striker Emilio Butragueno also weighed in on Ronaldo's and Varane's performances, describing the forward as a “sensational” player while praising the defender’s maturity.
“For me, Ronaldo is a giant above everyone else. There is no doubt that he was a constant threat throughout the game, he was sensational!” Exclaimed the 49-year-old.
“Our defensive system influenced Messi’s poor match. The team knew what to expect, and of course, we have Ronaldo!
“In Varane, we now have a [big game] veteran. He is fast, he never loses a one-on-one, and he scored two goals in the tie. He demonstrated a seniority that should not normally come from someone of his age.”
Both sides will face each other once again on Saturday at Santiago Beranbeu in La Liga in what is sure to be another feisty clash.