Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t have the Champions League magic of old against FC Porto this week.
By the Juventus star’s astronomically high standards, his performance during the gutting round of 16 defeat was a poor one and ultimately insufficient to put himself on track for a sixth European title.
Nevertheless, both Ronaldo and the Old Lady, in general, couldn’t be criticised for a lack of desire because they certainly threw the kitchen sink at Porto during their second leg clash on Tuesday.
Juventus 3-2 Porto (4-4)
The Italian champions needed a convincing result after losing the opening tie at the Estádio do Dragão, but looked to be in dire straits when Sérgio Oliveira fired Porto into an early lead.
However, Juventus came out swinging in the second-half with a Federico Chiesa brace and Medhi Taremi red card forcing an extra 30 minutes in which the home side would have a man advantage.
But alas, it was the underdogs who secured the win in extra-time with Oliveira bagging his second of the night and the away-goal rule rendering Adrien Rabiot’s response as a mere consolation.
Ronaldo’s poor performance
As a result, Juventus were confined to their third consecutive Champions League humiliation since the arrival of Ronaldo and their superstar most certainly came in for criticism after the game.
Besides, there was good reason to think that he could have prevented Oliveira’s game-deciding goal had he not turned his back in the wall designed to thwart the Porto man’s free-kick effort.
However, his costly loss of nerve was in line with a disappointing performance overall and one that has been highlighted in minute detail by Twitter user @CF_Comps.
Ronaldo’s individual highlights
Fear not, we’re not lazily criticising Ronaldo for failing to produce a miracle for once but rather, we’re shining a light on just how anomalously poor his display was in an environment that usually brings out the best in him.
We are, after all, talking about the greatest player in the history of the Champions League, so it certainly was strange – give or take his deft assist – to see him exit the competition so tepidly.
But if you think we’re just stirring the pot for the sake of taking aim at Ronaldo, then be sure to check out his aforementioned highlights down below because – frankly – they speak for themselves.
Not Ronaldo’s best night at the office, it must be said.
A shadow of his best self
Look, what Ronaldo has achieved in the Champions League might never be topped and we can hardly expect him to bail out Juventus season after season with performances for the history books.
But even if we judge Ronaldo’s displays against the standards of a ‘normal’ player – by that, we mean somebody who doesn’t have ten million Ballon d’Or titles – it was still a disappointing output.
Besides, according to SofaScore.com, Ronaldo lost possession 17 times, failed to complete a single dribble and was caught offside twice as Juventus crashed out of Europe.
So, dodgy free-kick defending or not, Tuesday night was one of those rare occasions that Ronaldo looked human in the Champions League and boy did Porto make the most of it.