Juventus progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Tuesday night courtesy of a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid in Turin. The win saw the Bianconeri progress 3-2 on aggregate, as they suffered a 2-0 defeat in the first leg in Madrid. Unsurprisingly really considering his history with the competition, Cristiano Ronaldo was Juventus’ saviour, scoring a hat-trick. A bigger surprise to me was that the Portuguese star had scored just once in his previous seven matches in Europe’s elite competition.
Ronaldo was bought to win the Champions League
Juventus have annually reached the latter stages of the Champions League. However, the grand old lady has not won the trophy since 1996. In fact, the Bianconeri have only won the European Cup on two occasions.
Considering their grand history and habit of winning trophies that is also a surprise. The club’s hierarchy has obviously grown fed up of always being the bridesmaid, so hatched a plan to sign a player who knows exactly what is needed to win the competition. Ronaldo has won the Champions League on five occasions. Such is his talent the forward has played a major part in all five victories. His latest triumph came just last season when he helped eliminate Juventus on the way to a 3-1 final victory over Liverpool.
The Portuguese star is at the back end of his glittering career. However, he is still a highly influential player. The fact that Juventus paid such a big fee for Ronaldo at his age, shows just how badly they want to lift the big trophy.
Challenge has helped motivate Ronaldo
There was a number of times during the last few years of Ronaldo’s Real Madrid career were he looked destined for the exit or it seemed like he was no longer wanted by a small section of the club’s fans.
Ronaldo could quite easily have decided to stay in Madrid or would no doubt have had lucrative offers from elsewhere. However, Ronaldo chose to take on a new challenge at one of Europe’s biggest clubs. Maybe it was ego or just that he needed a new challenge. Whatever it is the 33-year-old seems to be enjoying his time in Turin so far. The move seems to have given the forward extra motivation, if needed, to win the Champions League once again this season.
The fact former club Real Madrid have struggled so badly without him illustrates the effect that Ronaldo’s presence can have at a football club. It seems unlikely that Ronaldo will be happy until he has helped Juventus to win the much-coveted trophy.
One of the favourites to lift the trophy
Juventus are now second favourites to win the Champions League this season at odds of 4/1. Only Premier League champions Manchester City are shorter odds to finish the campaign as European champions.
The Bianconeri have been among the favourites to win the Champions League in the recent past. However, they have always come up short when it comes to getting over the finish line. Ronaldo being in their team will only help the Bianconeri’s chances of finally winning the Champions League. The Portuguese star will drive his team on. His winning mentality and sheer drive will have a positive effect on his teammates.
Winning the Champions League was the whole reason Juventus signed him. Maybe the strategy will pay off for the Italian club, as he saved their skins against Atletico Madrid. They will need more performances like Tuesday’s from Ronaldo though if they are to end their 23-year wait to win the Champions League.
Will Cristiano Ronaldo help Juventus to win the Champions League this season?
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