Cristiano Ronaldo again proved his GOAT title by scoring a hat-trick against Atlético Madrid and gave his team another chance to fight for the title of Champions League.
The debate of Messi or Ronaldo can be done some another time; this is the moment when you bend your knee and admit the fact that Ronaldo is the best thing that has ever happened to the football world. The Portuguese football player has redefined the lesson of how to uplift your team singlehandedly when he scored three goals in the second leg and sent Juventus to quarterfinals by beating the tough competition of Atlético.
After weeks of speculations that Cristiano Ronaldo is going to end his almost a decade old relationship with Real Madrid, on 10 July 2018, Ronaldo signed his four-year contract with Juventus F.C. The transfer made history as Juventus paid Ronaldo more than €100 million, making him the highest-paid player over 30 years old. And now, Ronaldo turned the table around for Juventus when he netted three goals against Atlético, the 34-year old player says, “He was bought for moments like this”. If such humble reaction doesn’t make him the greatest player of all times, god knows what will!
This was Ronaldo’s eighth hat-trick in the Champions League, which moved him and leveled him with Barca’s star player Lionel Messi. Speaking to Sky Sport, GOAT Ronaldo stated, “It had to be one of the special nights, not just for him but also for the team. This the competition where we haven’t won anything yet, but we have made a memorable journey.” He added, “Maybe that’s why Juventus signed me, and it was a magical evening”. However, when asked about the odds of his team in finals he said that it is too early to say anything, and we have to think step by step.
During the first five minutes in the last evening’s match, Ronaldo was seen in this aggressive form and attempted for scoring a goal, but Jan Oblak dived low to grab the ball and VAR check confirmed that it wasn’t a goal. However, before the first half ends, Ronaldo brought Juventus in the game, scoring his and the team’s first goal. The Italian player Federico Bernardeschi put a brilliant cross to pit Ronaldo against Atlético’s Diego Godín, which–as expected–let Juventus halfway to level with Atlético. Till the half time, the scoreboard showed Juventus 1 and Atlético Madrid 0. However, the situation turned in favor of Juventus in the second half of the spectacular match.
Football fans witnessed another marvel of Ronaldo when he propelled the ball goalward with an amazing header and there was no chance that the goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, could the save the attack. Although Atlético brought on Angel Correa and Vitolo in an attempt to add more spirit to the team, there was nothing that could stop the hurricane of Ronaldo. After leveling with Atlético, Juventus need one more goal to secure its place in quarterfinals and to beat Atlético on aggregate. And the prayers listened when Juventus blessed with a penalty and Ronaldo did not disappoint his fans. Minutes before the referee could blow his whistle, Ronaldo had his hat-trick and the crowd went wild to see their team finally getting a chance in the quarters.
There is no doubt that Ronaldo deserves his GOAT title with his exceptional skills with the ball, stamina even in the age of 34, and unwavering thirst for creating impossible records. With the recent match, Ronaldo matched with Messi with his previous record of “Most career Champions League hat-tricks”. Overall Ronaldo has been directly involved in 77 goals in his 77 career Champions League knockout appearances, which includes his 63 goals and 14 assists. And there is a chance he would extend this record in the quarter-final, where Juventus will be joined by Ronaldo’s former club, Manchester United, Porto, Manchester City, Ajax, and Tottenham.