Eamon Dunphy has admitted that his previous assessment of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo as a 'show pony' was misguided.

The RTÉ analyst has often been a harsh critic of the Portuguese, saying in 2009: "Ronaldo is a disgrace to the game. His petulance, temperament, throwing himself on the ground. It was a disgrace to professional football. This fella Ronaldo is a cod."

Reflecting on the now 33-year-old's superb bicycle kick in the Champions League quarter-final victory over Juventus last week, however, Dunphy accepted that the forward had overcome his early reservations.

"It annoyed me to the point that I thought it was a fatal flaw," said Dunphy.

"That when he came into big games, tough situations and tough players like Juventus defenders, that he wouldn't be able to handle it.

"I was completely wrong about that.

"I called him a show-pony one night in this studio when they were playing Roma and he scored a hat-trick.

"He has evolved and re-invented himself and he is a truly great player now, that we will never forget. The game needs him."

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Colleague and fellow former international Liam Brady added his praise for the competition's record goalscorer - on 119 goals Ronaldo is well clear of great rival Lionel Messi in second.

"Over 15 or 16 years, we've been very very lucky to see him perform, because he's been absolutely magnificent," said Brady.

"He's unmarkable in the box. He's got great intuition to be in the right place at the right time and has scored so many important goals in recent seasons.

"In the early days, I thought he would struggle to go on and have the career he has because he was prone to going down, histrionics but he's changed that in his game and become a far more likeable player.

"In fact, so likeable that the Juventus fans applauded him off the pitch, which is quite incredible.

Ronaldo's Real are in action in the second leg against Juventus - live updates here