If there’s one soccer player playing right now you’d back to deliver the goods and achieve the impossible, it’s Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Juventus star gave another three reasons why he’s worth his weight in gold last night.
Juventus was going into their Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid carrying a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. It was always going to be a big task for Juventus to buck the odds and upset the apple cart, but when Ronaldo is firing on all cylinders, you’re always in with a chance.
The Express reports that the Portuguese talisman netted a hat trick against his former La Liga rivals to silence the doubters and confirm to the world he’s still a soccer god. Since leaving Real Madrid to join Juventus last season for an epic amount of money, the fiery forward has been outstanding. His triple thunder against Atletico Madrid makes his tally for this season in all competitions an impressive 24 goals.
For most fans, it’s likely that there’s more to come. His club will be hoping Ronaldo’s golden boots keep doing their business in the Champions League, because as the 34-year-old bragged in the aftermath of the Atletico victory, “That’s why Juve signed me.”
Juventus has failed to win the Champions League since 1996, and Ronaldo is the prestigious competition’s top goalscorer of all time with 124 goals, putting him 18 goals ahead of second-place Lionel Messi. He’s also scored eight Champions League hat tricks and enjoyed European victory for four of the last seasons. If anyone can help Juventus get back on their perch and claim the trophy of trophies, it’s likely the man who is seeking to become the first player in history to win the elite European competition with three different clubs.
“It had to be a really special night and it was. If we continue like this, we have not won yet but we have reasons to be proud and we are on the right way,” Ronaldo explained to Sky Sport Italia, as quoted by The Express.
“That’s why Juve signed me and I tried to do my best job. It’s a magical night. It was a very difficult team to play but we showed that we were a very big team. We proceed step by step, we will see.”
Ronaldo dragged Juventus into the quarterfinals of the Champions League with an 86th-minute penalty after a foul on Federico Bernadeschi. Up stepped the Portuguese powerhouse to drive the win home and seal his hattrick as he slammed the ball past a hapless Jan Oblak in goal.
“It is a great night for all the Juve people,” Juventus’s Leonardo Bonucci added. “Many were ready to celebrate our defeat, I’m sorry for them. Juve always responds on the pitch. We played with the right spirit and our fans were the 12th man tonight.”