Cristiano Ronaldo helped to preserve Juventus’ unbeaten record in Serie A against Atalanta on Wednesday.
The Old Lady were trailing 2-1 when Ronaldo was introduced in the 65th minute.
Thirteen minutes later he was on the scoresheet and Juve would return to Turin with a point.
The Portuguese star started on the bench because he was in desperate need of a rest. He had started every one of Juventus’ 17 league matches before the Atalanta game and played in five Champions League matches, too.
While Ronaldo’s physical ability is off the charts, he is 33 years old now. Juventus have dreams of winning the Champions League and to do that, they must ensure that their star man doesn’t suffer from burnout.
And he showed that he can still make an impact in a limited role by grabbing the winner on Wednesday.
It’s not the first time this season that Ronaldo has saved Juventus this season. He provided two assists as the Bianconeri turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 win against Napoli in September.
Chiellini sums up Ronaldo's decisiveness
And in a clash against Empoli in October, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored two second half goals as Juve recovered from 1-0 down to win.
Having a player who can be relied upon when they need him the most is a luxury and nobody is happier than Giorgio Chiellini.
Speaking after Ronaldo’s latest contribution, his 13th goal in all competitions, Chiellini admitted that the Portugal ace has always been there when it matters.
“This year there have been three moments in which we were in difficulty and behind in the game - the matches against Napoli, Empoli and Atalanta,” Chiellini told Sky Sport Italia.
“It is no coincidence that in these three games, Cristiano has been Cristiano.
“Ronaldo is a decisive player, we knew it: in the fundamental moments he manages to bring out that extra something he has inside.
“He was given a rest because you cannot always be at the top when you play so many games, but you can be decisive when playing 20 and he has shown that.”
It’s what Juventus paid £99.2 million for.