Cristiano Ronaldo: Juventus hat-trick proved ONE thing following Real Madrid transfer | Football | Sport


“Maybe that’s why they signed me,” Ronaldo said after the match when he was told Juventus have never comeback after losing the first leg 2-0.

He was spot on. That kind of performance which saw him pull Juve from the depths of elimination was exactly why they forked out a club-record fee of £99.7million.

The performance will again reignite the Ronaldo versus Lionel Messi debate, but this was a night where the Portuguese deserved his name in shining lights again.

Juventus have never had a player as potent as this in their entire history, it’s little wonder he is deemed as the final piece of the Champions League puzzle.

When Ronaldo is in your dressing room you have every reason to believe. You could see from minute one that Massimiliano Allegri’s men had the confidence they could dismantle the masters of defence and they did just that.

But there was more to Tuesday’s triumph than that.

Take a look on the flip side, Ronaldo has won the Champions League on four of the last five occasions with Real Madrid. Time and time again he has dragged them over the line with knockout hat-tricks against Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.

Winning the competition has almost become second nature for the La Liga giants and the achievement began to lose its significance.

At 33-year-old it would have been so easy for Ronaldo to stay at Real Madrid and finish his career there but with his relentless desire and pristine condition, he still has so much more to give to the game.

That was proven against Atletico, a side who thought they’d escaped his clutches having been knocked out by him and their Madrid rivals four seasons in a row between 2014-2017.

For years Ronaldo had flirted with a move away from the Bernabeu but last summer he wasn’t going to pass up on the opportunity he knew may never come again. He didn’t want to retire with any regrets.

In Lisbon, Milan and Cardiff, he played a starring role in each of the finals but Kiev was different. He’d already told a number of his team-mates that he was going to leave.

Gareth Bale received the plaudits after scoring twice from the bench including a bicycle kick that will go down as one of the greatest goals in European history. He wrote the headlines, it was all about him.

Ronaldo wanted to feel that love again, after nine years in the Spanish capital it had become so comfortable and the love affair had fizzled out. He’d achieved everything he set out to do and more.

Florentino Perez and Zinedine Zidane were beginning to plan for next season and the president explained that he felt they would need to sell a key star to recoup some funds to spend.

The Frenchman intended to sell Bale, this desire was later confirmed when the winger admitted after the Champions League final he would consider his future.

But Perez had other ideas. He wanted Bale to prove his worth after being one of his signings and opted to sell Ronaldo while his stock was still high, against Zidane’s wish. The boss later resigned.

This season has proved that was an injustice and they have been made to pay. Real Madrid were humiliated 4-1 by Ajax in the last 16 and now have nothing to play for having sacked two managers. Bale’s campaign has been nothing short of a catastrophe.

Juventus presented the perfect chance for Ronaldo to further his legacy among the game’s greats and to prove that the Champions League belongs to him.

He is now chasing his sixth winners medal, a feat only achieved by Francisco Gento. He remains level on five titles with Alessandro Costacurta, Paulo Maldini and Alfredo Di Stefano.

Furthermore, his personal record speaks for itself. He is the all-time leading goalscorer in the competition with 124 goals, has scored the most home goals, away goals, group stage goals, knockout goals, final goals, free-kicks, penalties, headers, braces, hat-tricks and registered the most assists.

Just like one of his mentors, Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo knew that Real Madrid’s period of unprecedented success had to end at some point and he picked the perfect moment to depart.

Bianconeri supporters already won him over when they rose to their feet to applaud his overhead kick in last season’s quarter-finals at the Juventus Stadium.

He later broke their hearts with a 97th minute penalty in the second leg at the Bernabeu. With his class and stature though it was quickly forgotten upon his arrival last July.

If Ronaldo can help inspire a Juventus side who are renowned for underachieving in the Champions League to glory, it would only further cement his place in history.

If he can conquer this season’s competition it would see him join Clarence Seedorf in winning it with three different clubs. You would not put it past him.

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