Ronaldo treble takes Juve into quarters | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 14, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, March 14, 2019

UEFA Champions League

Ronaldo treble takes Juve into quarters

Cristiano Ronaldo lifted Juventus into the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday with a spectacular hattrick. The 34-year-old Portuguese superstar scored two headers and a late penalty to clinch a place in Friday's last-eight draw with a dominant display and 3-2 aggregate victory by the Italian champions in Turin.

Former Real Madrid player Ronaldo has now scored 25 goals against Atletico in 33 appearances, including four ha-tricks.

Two of his five Champions League titles, in 2014 and 2016, have also been won by beating Atletico in the finals.

He scored the title-winning penalty against Atletico in 2016 and a hattrick against them in the last four a year later.

"In the history of Juve there was never a comeback like this," said Ronaldo.

"That's why Juventus bought me, to help them in games like this. I do my job and I'm very happy, it was a magical evening."

Juventus signed Ronaldo last summer from Real Madrid for 100 million euros ($117 million) hoping he would make the difference on the continent. The Italian title-holders have not won the Champions League since 1996, and have finished runners-up twice in the past four seasons.

"It had to be a special night and it was, not just for the goals, but for the team and their incredible attitude," continued the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

"This is the mentality you need in the Champions League and we are on the right track.

"It's too early to talk about the final, let's take it one step at a time.

"Atletico was a complicated team to face, but we are also strong and we deserved to go through."

Ronaldo have now joins Barcelona's Lionel Messi with the most Champions League hat-tricks, on eight.

The Portuguese has been directly involved in 77 goals in 77 Champions League knockout appearances -- 63 goals and 14 assists.

He has scored 124 goals in the Champions League, more than Atletico in the competition (118).

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