"A very emotional night" was how Cristiano Ronaldo saw it after his goal at Old Trafford eliminated his old side, with Real Madrid CF team-mate Xabi Alonso hailing "a massive step".
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For Cristiano Ronaldo, there were mixed emotions after his match-winning turn at his old stamping ground of Old Trafford. The Real Madrid CF forward, scorer of the goal that secured a 2-1 victory on the night and 3-2 aggregate success, said he was happy to have taken his club through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals but admitted it had been "strange" playing against his former team. Ronaldo also thanked the Manchester United FC supporters for the wonderful reception he enjoyed when his name was announced moments before kick-off.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Madrid forward
It was an unbelievable night, a very emotional night. What the supporters did with me was massive – I am never going to forget this moment. On the one side I feel happy for Madrid to go through to the next round, the other side I feel a little bit sad because it is not easy to forget this home. I played six years here and the people were very nice to me and I came here like a child. The feeling is strange – it was not just this game but the first game too; I felt a little bit shy in my game. But I am happy because Madrid got through – I play for Madrid and try to do my best all the time.
We have a long way to go [to win the UEFA Champions League], we've beaten one of the best teams in the world which is Man United. We have a long way to go and will go step by step. We are in a good shape – this week was unbelievable with two wins against Barcelona and now Man United. It was fantastic for us.
Xabi Alonso, Madrid midfielder
We knew it was going to be a massive night for both sides– make or break for one of us. Happily we have gone through. Credit to United – they pushed really hard even with ten players. It was a great atmosphere, a great night and now we're through we're really delighted.
It was quite even. In the first 45 minutes nothing really happened actually – not many chances. After the sending-off we knew we had a good chance and we did really well for 15–20 minutes, scoring those two goals. At the end, both sides had a few chances and our keeper did a great job.
It was a massive step today that we've taken. We knew it was a very difficult tie against United, and now we have to wait for the draw to see who our next opponents will be. It was a key week for us, in both competitions, and happily we've gone through in both and have chances to win them. That is what we wanted but there's still a long way to go.