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Centurion Cristiano Ronaldo hails Real Madrid's winning mentality

Ronaldo's hat-trick inspired Real Madrid to overcome Bayern Munich after extra time Credit: PA

Cristiano Ronaldo praised the winning mentality of Real Madrid after his hat-trick helped defeat Bayern Munich 4-2 following extra time at the Bernabeu.

A Robert Lewandowski penalty put Bayern ahead on the night but a diving header from Ronaldo with 14 minutes left looked to have been enough to send the Spanish side through, only for a bizarre own goal from Real captain Sergio Ramos to level things up at 3-3 overall.

Bayern saw midfielder Arturo Vidal sent off for what looked a harsh second caution to go into extra time with just 10 men.

Ronaldo's second goal in the 105th minute saw the forward become the first player to score 100 Champions League goals, while he completed his hat-trick four minutes later - Marco Asensio added the icing on the cake to make it 6-3 on aggregate.

We are just winners. Making six goals against a team like Bayern is not easy and we deserve to move through to the semi-finals.

We played very well, obviously I am very happy to score all three goals, but the team has been great.

We knew we had to play very well because Bayern can score goals from anywhere on the pitch and proved to be an excellent team, but Real Madrid is Real Madrid.

In the first half we had many opportunities and we could score a goal or two, also in the second half too.

Yes, we conceded two goals, but Real Madrid is used to this setback, we won and we are all very happy.

– Ronaldo on Real's website


Bale set for Real Madrid return against Espanyol

Gareth Bale is set to make his first appearance since November after Zinedine Zidane announced the Wales international will be in the Real Madrid squad to face Espanyol this weekend.

Bale has been sidelined since undergoing surgery on the ankle tendon damage he suffered during a Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon almost three months ago.

Madrid coach Zidane said last week that he hoped to have Bale available again before the Champions League last-16 second leg against Napoli on March 7, but the 27-year-old forward has already returned to full training and is now set to be involved against Espanyol.

Gareth Bale is back. Credit: PA

Zidane told a pre-match press conference, reported on the club's website: "He will be in the squad and the plan is for him to have some minutes. We're keen and he's keen as well.

"Bale is a very important player for us. We know the quality and speed that he has, and the damage he can cause the opposition.

"He's very happy to return to the team, to be with us, and be able to play again."


Real Madrid teenager Odegaard heads out on loan

Dutch side Heerenveen have signed Real Madrid wonderkid Martin Odegaard on loan until the summer of 2018.

The teenager made international headlines when he moved to the Spanish giants aged just 16.

Odegaard, now 18, made a number of appearances for Real Madrid's B team and has featured once in the league for the first team, but has failed to oust his more renowned colleagues.

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