Messi hails Ronaldo's 'magical night' (Reports)
Messi hails Ronaldo's 'magical night' (Reports)

Lionel Messi hailed Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick performance against Atletico Madrid as “magical” following his own dazzling display for Barcelona in the Champions League.

Ronaldo equalled Messi’s Champions League hat-trick record with his eighth in Juventus’ 3-0 victory over Atletico on Tuesday – the treble sealing a stunning 3-2 aggregate triumph en route to the quarter-finals.

Barca joined Juve in the last eight after Messi’s two goals and two assists inspired a 5-1 rout of Lyon at Camp Nou on Wednesday.

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While Messi produced another brilliant performance, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner praised Ronaldo’s display 24 hours earlier.

“A lot of things I liked about the Champions League,” Messi told Movistar after Barca’s match.

“Yesterday, Cristiano and Juventus impressed me. I thought Atletico would be stronger. Cristiano had a magical night with all three goals.”

The last-16 tie between Barca and Lyon was evenly poised following last month’s goalless draw in France.

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Barca put five goals past Lyon but it was not all smooth sailing for the LaLiga champions, who led 2-0 after 31 minutes thanks to Messi and Philippe Coutinho, only for Lucas Tousart to pull a goal back when the game was approaching the hour-mark.

However, Barca put the tie beyond doubt with three late goals within eight minutes from Messi, Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele to see off the Ligue 1 visitors.

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“We complicated ourselves only in a set-piece action,” Messi said. “We spent minutes of suffering, [but] with 3-1 everything calmed down.

“We went from the start to look for it, when we found the goal we handled the ball better, we moved it calmly, saw the best version.”

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