Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to help Juventus overcome a 2-0 deficit and beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 – and the records keep on coming.
Ronaldo had made it to the last four in every year since 2010 and had failed to do so only once in 12 seasons prior to Wednesday night’s clash in Turin – and he made sure it didn’t become two in 13 with a phenomenal display.
Here are some of his most incredible statistics in the Champions League.
– With his hat-trick against Atletico, Ronaldo moved to 127 goals in UEFA competitions, becoming the first player in history to pass the 125 mark.
– He has scored 124 of them in the Champions League, 18 more than Lionel Messi, his closest challenger. The pair are the only players to score 100 goals in the competition for a single club, Ronaldo having done so for Real Madrid.
– Incredibly, Ronaldo did not score until his 30th game in the Champions League, meaning he scored 100 in just 114 games. That includes eight hat-tricks, which is the joint most with, predictably, Messi.
– The Portuguese superstar had also already become the first player to score 50 knockout goals – and against Atletico he moved to 63. With 14 assists, too, he has directly contributed to 77 goals in 77 appearances in the knockout stages.
– Ronaldo has been involved in 41 Champions League goals just since the start of the 2016-17 season (31 goals), but he scored only once for Juve in the group stage this season before predictably rising – literally – to the occasion when it really mattered.
– Ronaldo had said before the game that it was easier to score against Spanish clubs than Italian clubs, and Atleti can certainly attest to that – he has now scored 24 goals in his career against the capital club from 33 appearances.
– Only Sevilla (27) have felt his wrath more often, while in the Champions League it is Ronaldo’s current club, Juve, against whom he has scored most goals with 10.
– Most importantly, Ronaldo remains in contention to lift Europe’s biggest prize for the fourth season in a row. He has already won it five times and needs only one more to equal the record held by Real Madrid legend Francisco Gento.
Juve, of course, have suffered plenty of near misses in recent years, but with Ronaldo in their team, who knows?
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