Barcelona star Lionel Messi has hailed Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo for his hattrick in the Champions League against Atletico Madrid.

The 34-year-old scored all three goals as the reigning Serie A champions overturned a two-goal deficit suffered in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Messi responded to Ronaldo’s impressive performance by by scoring two goals and providing two assists for Ousmane Dembele and Gerard Pique as Barcelona beat Lyon 5-1 to progress to the quarterfinal.

Messi and Ronaldo are widely regarded as the best players of their generation and their achievements are compared by football supporters to determine the better player.

While Ronaldo earned praise from his girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez and his first son, Messi who is a rival is also in awe of his latest display.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo, Messi was asked about the game between Juventus and Atletico Madrid.

The Barcelona captain was full of praise for Ronaldo’s performance but stated that he expected a better performance from Diego Simeone’s side.

Cristiano Ronaldo's three goals for Juventus has earned him praise from Messi [EPA]

He said, "The thing about Cristiano and Juventus yesterday was impressive, it was a big surprise, Juventus went over Atletico, I hoped they would have more strength.

"Juventus has a lot of potential and Cristiano had a magical night with his three goals."

Another Argentine legend was also full of praise for Ronaldo after his heroics in the Champions League.

Diego Maradona hailed the qualities of both Ronaldo and Messi in a report by the Mirror

Messi and Ronaldo are expected to to lead Juventus and Barcelona to the latter stages of the Champions League

He said, “There are players who have been touched by a magic wand. We Argentines are proud that Lionel Messi is Argentinian.

"The other one is an animal. Ronaldo is pure power, and now he’s also a sorcerer. He said he’d score three goals and he scored three goals.”

With Juventus and Barcelona both through to the knockout stage Messi and Ronaldo are set for more magical nights in this seasons Champions League.