Given the circumstances, Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't have hoped for a better outcome when Real Madrid hosted Sporting Lisbon at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night.
A "special" moment is what Zinedine Zidane claimed it would be for the 31-year-old to face his former side and it turned out to be exactly that.
After going 1-0 down to the Portuguese outfit and later missing a glaring opportunity at the back post, Ronaldo sparked a dramatic comeback in the 89th minute with a fantastic free-kick from 25 yards out.
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It was reminiscent of the Ronaldo of old, picking out the top corner from a dead-ball situation.
Alvaro Morata would wrap up all three points in the dying moments but it was how Real's superstar celebrated his wonder strike that was most interesting.
Instead of performing his trademark 'Siii!' celebration, the Portugal international held his hands up in the air as his teammates swarmed to congratulate him.
It was a touching moment for Ronaldo and a sign of respect towards his former employers.
He's since discussed his muted celebration and explained why he felt it necessary to be respectful, despite having left Sporting all of 13 years ago.
Speaking to Real's official website, he said: "It was against the team where I learned my trade.
"The club has a place in my heart and I have a lot of respect for them. That's why I couldn't celebrate it."
Ronaldo also fired a warning to his teammates that they mustn't underestimate any opposition in the Champions League after coming so close to defeat.
"This is what Real Madrid is all about and comebacks like these form part of the mystique of this stadium," he added, "but this needs to be a warning for the future.
"We can't be as soft as we were because teams will walk all over us. For me, Sporting's performance was not a surprise."
Despite his side's sloppy performance, Zidane praised Real's players for fighting until the very end and refusing to give up.
In a post-match press conference, he said: "We are happy because we kept going until the end and we didn't give up.
"Sometimes you meet an opponent who plays very well but our players were tremendous, they made an enormous effort and they got their just reward.
"I don't know if the result was fair or not, but it's clear we believed. You have to play until the end, change things, and the good thing is we are focused and a united team."
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