Pundits heap praise on Cristiano Ronaldo for late Real Madrid heroics

Pundits heap praise on Cristiano Ronaldo for late Real Madrid heroics as Michael Owen lauds ‘freakish nature’ and Steven Gerrard hails ‘power and agility’ of Portuguese striker

Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to score the crucial penalty that sent Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals and the pundits were lining up to heap praise on the match-winner.

After a lengthy delay during which Michael Oliver sent off Gianluigi Buffon, Ronaldo composed himself to smash his spot kick into the top corner and break Italian hearts with the Serie A side having remarkably pulled it back to 3-3 on aggregate.

In the BT Sport studio the all-star panel of Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen heaped praise on the Real striker.

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated in typical fashion after smashing home the winning penalty

Rio Ferdinand (left) Steven Gerrard (centre) and Michael Owen heaped praise on Ronaldo

Gerrard said: ‘He always has his moment – people will talk about the penalty but it’s about the leap at the back post its about his power and agility.’

Another ex-Liverpool man Owen chimed in with: ‘He’s different in every way and he will continue to score goals because of his freakish nature that he’s got and the body he’s got.

‘Under that pressure it is mind blowing how he strikes it (the penalty) so cleanly.’

Ronaldo scored at the death after a controversial penalty was given against Juventus

After scoring the late winner, Ronaldo whipped off his shirt to reveal his phenomenal physique, as is his habit after decisive goals.

The sight of a topless Ronaldo prompted Ferdinand to comment: If you was to put a prototype of a footballer into a computer Ronaldo’s physique would come out.’

No doubt the five-time Ballon d’Or winner will have plenty more to say with Real chasing a third Champions League title in succession.

The Real Madrid striker continues to dazzle for Los Blancos with remarkable performances

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