Juventus have reached the Champions League final in two of the previous four seasons but they face an enormous task if they’re to do so this season.
The Old Lady visited the venue of the final - the Wanda Metropolitano - but lost 2-0 to Atletico Madrid.
In truth, it was a deserved win for Diego Simone’s side with defenders Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin grabbing the second-half goals.
If Juve want to return to the Wanda in June, they need a perfect second-leg.
And that will mean Cristiano Ronaldo being at his very best.
The Portuguese superstar had a tough 90 minutes on his return to Atletico in which he was booed throughout. He also could have done better for Godin's goal, in which he turned his back as the ball deflected off him and into the net.
It clearly affected him as well.
During the game, he was seen holding up five fingers to signify the five Champions League winners medals he’s got compared to Atleti’s zero.
He repeated that gesture when walking through the mixed zone as he held up his five fingers again and said: “ have five Champions Leagues, you [Atletico] have none."
Cristiano was clearly frustrated due to the result and his performance on the pitch.
The Ballon d’Or winners struggled to have any impact on the match, other than having a fantastic free-kick saved by Jan Oblak early on.
And now the Italian media have cast their verdicts on his display - and it’s not pretty.
La Gazzetta dello Sport marked Ronaldo down as the ‘worst player on the pitch’ handing him a 4.5 out of 10 grade.
They wrote: “It's too easy to complain with De Sciglio or Bentancur. Juve signed Ronaldo to make the difference in these games. Against Atletico he seemed just like any other player.”
Tuttosport, a Turin-based paper, were slightly kinder by giving him 5.5 out of 10 and added: “He did what he could Juve were playing in the fog and were unable to reach him.”
While II Corriere dello Sport insisted Ronaldo “wasn't the real problem of Juventus at the Wanda Metropolitano even if he clearly underperformed,” and rated him 5 out of 10.
He'll need a 10 out of 10 performance if Juve are to progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.News Now - Sport News