Cristiano Ronaldo reached another level during Juventus’ Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
The Italian side were 2-0 down from the first leg and faced a tough task of turning the tie – but thanks to their star man, pulled off the unthinkable.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the 3-0 victory that saw Juve advance to the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite competition.
His first came inside half an hour when he climbed above Juanfran to power home a header at the back post.
A couple of minutes after the break, the Portuguese forward doubled Juve’s lead.
This time, he was surrounded by bodies inside the box but was still able to direct a header past Jan Oblak.
With the tie all square it looked like we could have been heading to extra time but with five minutes to play, Ronaldo completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot.
Federico Bernardeschi broke into the Atletico box and was clipped by Angel Correa. After a brief break in play while VAR confirmed the decision, Juve’s star man stepped up and smashed the ball home.
The Italian side were able to hold on to their lead for the last few minutes and at full-time, the Allianz Stadium erupted.
It wasn’t just those inside the ground singing Ronaldo’s praises at the final whistle either, because his sensational performance also left BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand in awe.
“He’s a living football god,” the former defender said post-match.
“It’s ridiculous what he’s doing. All the records – in the Champions League, he’s got every record you can imagine. He’s joint most hat tricks with Messi.”
“He’s a living football God!”
“He’s the best header of the ball I’ve ever seen.”
The Champions League is Cristiano Ronaldo’s playground 🙌 pic.twitter.com/kr1zgKu3hz
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 12, 2019
‘Living football god’ isn’t a compliment handed out to many players, but after Ronaldo’s hat-trick on Tuesday, it’s hard to argue with Ferdinand’s assessment.
And after the five-time Ballon d’Or winner propelled Juve into the last eight of the Champions League, it will be interesting to see if he can pull off more heroics in the next round.