After reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the third year running with a 5-3 aggregate win against Galatasaray AŞ, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuaín stressed the importance of Real Madrid CF going one step further than in 2011 and 2012 – and reaching their first final since 2002.
There was an acceptance in the Madrid camp that Galatasaray had caused them problems during last night's 3-2 second-leg loss, but also an obvious desire to go on and win the trophy. "We know it's difficult but for me it's possible," said Ronaldo of the Merengues' pursuit of a tenth European crown. Ronaldo's two goals, meanwhile, took his tally for this season's tournament to 11 – a record for a Madrid player in the UEFA Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid forward
You learn from your mistakes; the team always give their best but from time to time we make mistakes – this can happen, and the best thing is it happened now and not in a decisive game. The most important thing is that Real Madrid are in the semi-finals.
We want to win the Champions League – we know it's difficult but for me it's possible. We have to carry on and the most important thing now is to win the semi-final because we want to be in the final; after that anything can happen. We have to keep our feet on the ground, though, as we'll be up against a tough team in the semi-final. [Confirmed semi-finalists Borussia] Dortmund are a team I've always liked – one of the teams that I thought could go very far. There's us and them and we'll see who else comes through, but the most important thing is that we're there.
[On reaching the 11-goal mark] I am happy about that but the most important thing for me is to help Real Madrid achieve their objectives with my goals, my performances. I am happy to enter in the history of the club and help them qualify for the semi-finals.
Gonzalo Higuaín, Madrid forward
We went 1-0 up and had a chance for a second goal that we couldn't take and then in the second half another chance, and then they got back into it with their goals. The important thing is we're in the semi-finals for the third year running and let's see who we get next.
Their crowd push them on – you're aware of it, but it's great playing a game in this kind of atmosphere. We suffered but you have to do that if you want to win this competition. After so many years of not getting this far, we're in the semi-finals for the third year running. Let's hope this year's the one where we get to the final.
Pepe, Madrid defender
It was a difficult second half. We didn't get into the game as we did in the first – we dropped back a lot, perhaps with an eye on trying to kill them off on the counterattack, but the most important thing is we managed to get through and we're all pleased.
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