Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was full of praise for Cristiano Ronaldo despite having his dreams left in ruin by the Portuguese star on Tuesday.
Ronaldo scored Real Madrid's first two goals - the second of which was a breathtaking bicycle kick - and left back Marcelo rounded off the scoring late on in Turin. Juventus are now left with the impossible task of overturning a three-goal deficit at the Santiago Bernabéu next week.
Italy legend Buffon has been flirting with retirement over the last few years, but has continued to delay hanging up his boots in search of a first UEFA Champions League medal.
However, the 40-year-old captain understands that his dream of lifting Europe's elite trophy is now over and he even praised Ronaldo after the game, comparing the Portugal international with some of football's most iconic names.
"Ronaldo is a player who is at an incredible level," Buffon said at full time, quoted by Marca. "Ronaldo's worth is comparable to [Diego] Maradona, [Lionel] Messi or Pele.
"My Champions League dream isn't possible because the best has stopped it."
Cristiano Ronaldo is a joke 😱 what a player! 🔥🔥🔥— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) April 3, 2018
Goalkeeping icon Buffon didn't just want to single Ronaldo out in his praise though. The Italian admitted that Juventus couldn't meet Real Madrid's "incredible level", hinting that I Bianconeri struggle to transition from Serie A to the latter stages of the Champions League.
"We played against champions of an incredible level", Buffon added. "Their ability makes everything much more difficult and it forced us to become less precise than usual.
"It is hugely disappointing and in the end, we probably won't progress."