Sports

Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick fires Juventus past Atlético and into last eight

Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick fires Juventus past Atlético and into last eight

Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping his dedication and passion for football will help Juventus to revive their Champions League hopes.

Having brought the tie level with two typical headers, Ronaldo capped off another remarkable performance and entered Juventus folklore when he smashed in the tie-winner from the spot four minutes from time, after Federico Bernardeschi had been fouled in the area.

Talk in the Italian media of the season being considered a failure in the event of an elimination from the Champions League in the last 16 - despite signing Ronaldo in the summer - had been doing the rounds ever since Juve were beaten in Madrid.

Atletico's defeat means they miss out on the chance to play the final at their own Wanda Metropolitano stadium on 1 June. Dealing with the pressure of Atleti will be key, and this team didn't do that in the first leg.

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The Portugal global forward's goals took the Bianconeri into the quarterfinals and kept him in the hunt for a sixth Champions League title - a fourth in a row - and he reflected on a "magic" night.

Ronaldo also compared the difficulties of goal getting in Serie A to that of the Premier League, which is widely renowned as the most competitive league to play in. Joao Cancelo put in a cross from the right and although Oblak clawed Ronaldo's header out from under his crossbar, goal-line technology confirmed the ball had crossed the line. Bernardeschi popped up on the left to deliver a wonderful inswinging cross that allowed Ronaldo to overpower Juanfran at the back post and beat Oblak with a downward header. "I did it [when I was a player] in a Lazio vs. Bologna game".

Juventus last won the title in 1996.

The first leg result was near flawless, and he'll be telling his team to go on the counter and give him one goal.


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