The Portuguese superstar produced a performance for the ages to complete a miraculous comeback as Juventus defeated Atletico Madrid 3-0.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had some legendary nights over the course of his incredible Champions League career. It’s possible, though, that none have been as legendary as the one on Tuesday night.
Juventus went into their last-16 second-leg clash against Atletico Madrid needing something of a miracle to qualify for the next round, having lost 2-0 in the Spanish capital three weeks ago.
Atletico are widely regarded as having the best defence in world football. They’re experienced, tactically astute and they had not conceded a goal for over a month. Indeed, they were on a run of five consecutive clean sheets in the Champions League.
See What Made The Difference
Ronaldo is already the greatest player in Champions League history. He is – by some distance – the top-scorer in the competition’s history with 127 goals and he has won the most Champions League titles (five) since the tournament was rebranded in 1992.
But it is his ability to produce when it really matters that makes him so special.
“That’s why Juve signed me and I tried to do my best job,” Ronaldo enthused at full time.
“It was a very difficult team to play but we showed that we were a very big team. It was a magical night. ”
And it was a magical night not just for Ronaldo, but for Allegri also. The coach had been a dead man walking lately, but he produced a tactical masterclass. He switched to three at the back, deploying Emre Can as a second defensive playmaker alongside Leonardo Bonucci.
Juventus’s Champions League dream, though, goes on. In black and white there were heroes everywhere, but one hero stood out head and shoulders above the rest (quite literally for three of his goals) and that was the Champions League’s greatest player ever, Cristiano Ronaldo.