Madrid: Star striker Cristiano Ronaldo hit back at his critics after his stunning hat-trick boosted Real Madrid to beat VFL Wolfsburg 3-2 on aggregate and secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals.
The Spanish side were beaten 0-2 in Germany last week and faced an uphill challenge on Tuesday as they trailed 0-2 heading into the second-leg at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
Ronaldo spectacularly overturned the deficit with a treble, firing home twice in the space of 90 seconds to level the tie just 17 minutes in before he settled matters with a superb chipped free-kick near the end of the game.
The Portuguese insisted that despite the criticism he has faced, his statistics show he is having a fantastic year.
"Considering this has been a 'bad' season for me it has not been that bad. People can criticise me but I just keep in going and the numbers are there for all to see," Ronaldo was quoted as saying by goal.com on Tuesday.
“Just because I have scored three goals does not mean it's my best game. People know that I always give the maximum. The numbers do not lie. I will always try to help the team. The goals are in my DNA, but the important thing was the team,” the Portuguese said.
He has scored 46 goals in 42 matches so far this season.
“We knew we had to score three or more goals. It was an intense match, we controlled the game. We were more intense and had more opportunities. We were the better team. It was a perfect night. I said it would be a magical night and it was what happened,” he added.
Asked if he would prefer to face FC Barcelona or Atletico Madrid (in semis) - who meet in their second-leg quarters clash on Wednesday, Ronaldo said, "It is complicated. Atletico is the better defensive team, difficult to score goals against. Barcelona is at this time the best team in Europe. Both are very complicated. I would prefer Benfica, a Portuguese team."