That’s why Juventus paid €100m to have Cristiano Ronaldo.
At the end of ninety minutes at the Wanda Metropolitan in Madrid, all Ronaldo could manage was a ‘gesture’ at Atletico Madrid fans.
A couple of weeks later in Turin, before the last blast of the final whistle sounded, the 34-year old had sent the arena into romp; running, clapping and screaming VAMOS.
Yes, the beast has done it again; singlehandedly dragging Juventus to the next stage of the UEFA Champions League with a spectacular hat trick against Atletico Madrid.
The first was typical and the second, even though it required technology was not short of class. At a second look, anyone who second-guessed Kuipers decision won’t help but applaud Ronaldo’s tenacity. How about the third? A penalty that was taken under intense pressure and which could have turned him into a villain if…
Well, that was just a matter of if, it did crown his night and cut short Atleti’s run.
For Ronaldo, it was just one of those nights. Usually, when he gets in the mood, he’s really devastating. Ironically, on Tuesday night, he created a memorable night for the set of players and fans and he was a nightmare for, sometimes last season.
At the other end too, it was the usual nemesis of Diego Simeone’s men; the only time they’ve been beaten by a team in the knockout stages of the Champions League was against Ronaldo’s Real Madrid. Who again was fit enough to send them packing? No prizes for getting the answer correctly, it’s Ronaldo with 25 goals in 33 appearances against the Rojiblancos.
Juve fans might be so insatiable that they won’t help but want more of Cristiano Ronaldo. How long he could take them is a question their confidence might not allow them to answer honestly.
At this point, the Champions League won’t get any easier. The road to the final would be hard to navigate and you have to beat the best teams remaining in the contest to stand a chance of playing in the final at least.
Perhaps Juve eliminated Atletico because they had the second leg advantage and Ronaldo. It’s not easy to forget that the job could have been a bit harder if Atleti scored or won the first leg with a wider margin. Atletico, on their own, could not progress because they were poor with a game plan many expected them to execute with all sweat. It was beyond comprehension.
So far, the Old Lady have only shown how responsive they can be in the name of one man. They’ve not shown they are unbeatable.
Except you are a Real Madrid of 2016, 2017 and 2018, you don’t win the Champions League with that kind of run