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6 days ago
The Ronaldo League
Only few days ago, I wrote about how the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid was premature and unplanned. It looked an over-say but with every passing game, he keeps showing why he is ever relevant. Last night in the UEFA Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved his mettle, singlehandedly turning the tie around for Juventus to dump out former arch rivals, Atletico Madrid. The Portuguese, former Real Madrid star struck three times on the night to give the Old Lady a very rare comeback in their history and win the tie 3-2 on aggregate. Atletico won the first leg 2-0 at the Wanda Metropolitan, scoring two late goals to take an advantage to the Turin for the second leg. Right from the blast of the whistle at the start of the second leg, it was very obvious, the game plan Atleti came with, to defend, defend and defend. Unlike their opponents Juventus made a statement from the opening stages and were unlucky to have failed to take the lead when Giorgio Chiellini's goal was adjudged to have involved an infringement by Ronaldo, leading to the goal. It would not take long before Ronaldo who was already tormenting the Atelti defence broke the deadlock. The former Real Madrid star was mocked by Atleti President the last time the two met when Ronaldo insinuated he has won five Champions League titles. He said Ronaldo had only won two citing the Portuguese non-influence in the two victories against his team in the two finals. Ronaldo leapt above Juanfran to put Juventus ahead and doubled the lead after the break with another fine header which was validated by the Goal line technology. Completing his hatrick, Ronaldo crisply converted from the spot after Juan Cancello was brought down in the 18-yard area. Ronaldo celebrated, mocking Atleti boss, Diego Simeone's first leg celebration by rocking his crotch. With the hatrick, Ronaldo continues to break his own records, extending his number of goals as the all-time goalscorer in the Champions League. He has now scored 125 goals in the competition in 160 appearances with three clubs; Manchester United, Real Madrid and just 4 with Juventus, his highest marks coming during his time at Madrid. Apart from that, he also equalled the record of his fiercest rival, Lionel Messi with the highest number of hatrick in the competition with his hatrick on the night his eighth in the competition, just like Messi. After completing the hatrick, it took his tally against Atletico Madrid to **24 goals in 33 matches**, proving a thorn in the capital club's flesh whenever he comes against them. Ronaldo is proving a worthy buy for Juventus just like he has proven wherever he's gone to. It remains to be seen if his presence would give Juventus their most sought after Champions League trophy.
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