Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his 100th Juventus appearance with a brace in Sunday’s 3-1 Serie A win over Genoa and he now has sights on reaching a century of goals.
Juve were by no means outstanding at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris and looked to be slumping to a sixth draw in 11 Serie A games this season until the latter stages.
Defensive mistakes led to Juve winning two penalties in the final 12 minutes, and Ronaldo repeated the feat of his spot-kick double against Barcelona in midweek by confidently dispatching another pair in Genoa to take his overall club total to 77 goals.
Not only was Ronaldo making his 100th Juve appearance, he also became the first player to reach 400 wins across Europe’s top five leagues this century.
400 – #CristianoRonaldo become the first player to reach 400 wins in the top-5 European League in 2000s. Lionel Messi is second in this ranking with 365 wins (Buffon third, 350). Winner. #GenoaJuve pic.twitter.com/otJ5vWuuzy
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 13, 2020
Additionally, Ronaldo reached 31 goals for the calendar year, making him the third Juve player to reach this milestone in the top flight, and the first since Omar Sivori in 1961.
Speaking after the game, Juve superstar Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia: “It was a difficult match, but I’m happy for the personal achievement.
“In Barcelona we won an important match and after such successes you find confidence. Genoa play defensively and it was difficult to find the result here.
“After the Champions League it is always difficult, we are tired and we had to change things, but the coach told us what we needed and we did it well.”
Ronaldo then addressed his personal accomplishment on Twitter, writing: “What better way to celebrate my 100th game for Juventus, than scoring two more goals for the team?
What better way to celebrate my 100th game for Juventus, than scoring two more goals for the team? I’m very proud of reaching this number with the Vecchia Signora jersey, but guess what: I also have my mind already set on the 100 goals for Juve. Fino Alla Fine! pic.twitter.com/4X6nn8QSvO
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 13, 2020
“I’m very proud of reaching this number with the Vecchia Signora jersey, but guess what: I also have my mind already set on the 100 goals for Juve.”
Before Ronaldo’s penalties, however, it was a moment of inspiration from Paulo Dybala that initially broke Genoa’s resistance – the Argentina forward darting in off the right, evading a defender and cleverly finishing into the bottom-right corner.
It was his first Serie A goal of the season and elicited a joyous embrace from coach Andrea Pirlo, who explained the show of emotion.
“[Dybala] deserved it. He had been looking for that performance for several weeks, for himself as well,” Pirlo said.
“It’s important to go back to scoring and the hug is extended to the whole team that has always supported him.”
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