'Ronaldo never fails' - Ancelotti backs forward to defy doubters after Champions League masterclass

The Juventus star's latest Champions League hat-trick sent his team into the quarters, leaving one former coach delighted to see him succeed once more

Carlo Ancelotti has paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo after the Juventus star's latest Champions League heroics, stating that the forward always comes through for his team no matter what the critics murmur. 

Ronaldo went in to Tuesday's last-16 second leg against Atletico Madrid having netted just once in six outings in this season's edition. 

Juve too were staring down the barrel after going down 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano in February's opener. 

But Atletico boss Diego Simeone once more suffered the wrath of Cristiano, as he scored two headers and a penalty to engineer his side's great escape and send them into the quarter-finals

Ancelotti knows Ronaldo's talents better than most thanks to the pair's time together at Real Madrid, and he could not hide his admiration for yet another European masterclass from the 34-year-old hitman. 

"Everyone is waiting for his performances to drop, but they never do. Ronaldo, above all in these games, never fails," the current Napoli boss told Sky Sport.

"He makes the difference. There are great players who struggle in big games. He comes to life in these games. That is the difference between a great player and a great champion, like him."

Having squeezed into the last eight on the back of Ronaldo's hat-trick, Juve are now tipped to go far in the Champions League by Ancelotti. 

"Juventus gave a strong show of strength, considering Atletico's bravery, they are not an easy team to face, especially in a knock-out game," he added. 

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"Juventus managed an extraordinary feat, with an extraordinary player."

Ancelotti's Napoli currently lie a massive 18 points shy of their rivals in the Serie A standings, with just 11 games remaining in the season. 

Unlikely to deprive Juve of their eighth successive Scudetto, the Europa League now appears the club's best chance of silverware in 2018-19. They take on Salzburg on Thursday confident of progressing to the quarters, having taken a 3-0 lead from the first leg in San Paolo.