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Cristiano Ronaldo Single Handedly Keeps Juventus In The Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his hat-trick goal for Juventus against Atletico Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo scores his hat-trick goal for Juventus against Atletico Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo started tonight facing the prospect of his first Champions League exit in four seasons.

Potentially, the end of a remarkable run for the Portuguese megastar who was dreaming of lifting the famous trophy for the fourth successive season.

Juventus were 2-0 down from the first leg against Atletico Madrid but Ronaldo took matters into his own hands. He scored a hat-trick to make sure his remarkable record in the competition goes on. The crucial goal to make it 3-2 came in the final moments from the penalty spot and sparked scenes of emotional celebration in Turin.

Ronaldo's phenomenal success in the competition was one of the reasons Juventus brought him to Turin last summer for a fee of around £87million. Dominance in Serie A - seven straight titles - was not enough for Massimiliano Allegri's men - it was the Champions League which was the top priority. 

Ronaldo's stats in the Champions League are simply incredible. He is the competition's leading scorer with 124 goals in only 160 matches. Prior to tonight's game, he had scored only once in the competition this season, a far cry from his exploits while at Real. The last time he had such a poor return was 2005/06 when he failed to find the net. Compare this to 2013/14 when he scored 17.

Tonight, he became the first player in history to score 125 UEFA club competition goals (now has 126). He has also been involved in 76 Champions League knockout goals in 77 games 

Ronaldo is the only player to score in three Champions League Finals and also holds the record for scoring in all six Champions League group games. He now has eight Champions League hat-tricks, drawing him level with Lionel Messi. Put simply, he is phenomenal.

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