Cristiano Ronaldo showed once again that he’s a man for the big occasions with a hat-trick for Juventus against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
The Portuguese star thrives in the Champions League - his tally of 124 goals is a record - and he’s eyeing a fourth-straight title this year.
Would anyone bet against him winning the competition once again?
After Juventus drew Ajax in the quarter-final, probably not.
The Italians will be favourites to progress to the semi-final and in Ronaldo, they have a player who can lead them to glory.
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Juventus haven’t won the Champions League since 1996 but they signed Ronaldo with the sole purpose of ending that drought.
And he’s getting closer to achieving that dream.
Ronaldo scored a hat-trick on last Ajax visit
The 34-year-old will love the Ajax matchup. His record against them in recent years is phenomenal.
Ronaldo has scored 10 goals in his past four meetings against the Eredivisie outfit, including a hat-trick in his most recent trip to the Johan Cruyff Arena.
In October 2012, Real Madrid travelled to the Netherlands in the Champions League group stage and secured a 4-1 win thanks to a Ronaldo hat-trick and a goal from Karim Benzema.
Ronaldo’s first goal was a straightforward tap-in, but his second and third goals were both excellent finishes.
Ronaldo’s performance in last trip to Ajax
Incredibly, that was Ronaldo's second hat-trick in four days. He netted three goals for Real in a 5-1 win against Deportivo on the previous Sunday.
But that was more than five years ago, and Ajax’s team has been really impressive in the Champions League this season.
They went unbeaten in their group and then knocked Real Madrid out in the last 16 with a superb 4-1 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu.
So, while Juventus will be favourites to progress, Ronaldo and co. can’t take Erik ten Hag’s side lightly.
The winner of the tie will take on either Tottenham or Manchester City in the semi-final.
The other semi-final will be made up of the two winners from the ties between Manchester United and Barcelona and Liverpool and Porto.News Now - Sport News