News ID: 212638
Published: 0156 GMT April 04, 2018

Real on verge of CL semis thanks to Ronaldo brilliance

Real on verge of CL semis thanks to Ronaldo brilliance
Cristiano Ronaldo (C) scores Real Madrid’s second goal in a 3-0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League quarterfinals at Turin’s Allianz Stadium on April 3, 2018.
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/GETTY IMAGES

Cristiano Ronaldo scored with a bicycle kick which was outrageous even by his standards to lead Real Madrid to an emphatic 3-0 win away to Juventus in their Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday.

With his back to goal, Ronaldo launched himself into the air to meet Dani Carvajal’s chipped ball and produced a perfectly-executed bicycle shot which flew past keeper Gianluigi Buffon and put Real 2-0 ahead, Reuters reported.

The goal was greeted by applause even from Juventus fans who only minutes earlier had hounded and insulted Ronaldo when he shot wide.

The Portuguese had got Real off the mark with a third-minute goal, scoring for a record 10th successive Champions League game, and Marcelo was also on target as Juve’s five-year unbeaten home record in European competition crumbled.

A red card for playmaker Paulo Dybala in the 66th minute completed a miserable evening for the Serie A champion, beaten 4-1 by Real in last season’s Champions League final.

“When you play against sides like this, you need a little bit of luck and, more than anything else, to meet Ronaldo on a bad night,” said Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri.

“I am disappointed with the third goal because we should have tried to keep it down to 2-0 and then try to achieve something remarkable in Madrid.”

 

 ‘Grazie’

 

Ronaldo thanked Juventus fans for their "amazing" reaction in applauding his spectacular bicycle kick.

"Obviously people are talking about the second goal, it was amazing, probably the best of my career," Ronaldo said after the game.

"It was spectacular. I jumped very high and it's a goal that will live long in the memory.

"I've been looking to do it for a while, but it depends on the circumstances of the game. It just came to me to give it a go, you always have to try it. I tried it today and it came off".

Speaking about receiving a standing ovation, he added, "It was one of the most poignant moments of the night. To receive applause from a stadium like this, which has been graced by great players, is a unique experience.

"When I was a kid, I liked Juventus and the fact that their fans have clapped me will stay with me."

"I have to say thank you a lot – grazie – to all the Juventus supporters. What they did for me was amazing. I'm so happy – thank you. It had never happened to me in my career so far," Ronaldo told UEFA's website after the final whistle.

 

‘Natural gesture’

 

On the sideline, coach Zinedine Zidane reacted with joy and amazement to a goal that now rivals his own strike in the 2002 Champions League final as Madrid's best ever.

"I am like everyone," Zidane said at a postgame news conference.

"I am the coach, but also a football fan. It was a natural gesture. I am happy for what he did. He is a unique player and can do this type of thing. I am happy for him. We must be happy to have him."

"He's a different player to everyone else and he always has this desire to do something extraordinary in the Champions League. He never rests on his laurels.

"His overhead kick was remarkable, yet he missed two much easier chances. That's football."

Buffon was also full of praise for Ronaldo despite having his dreams left in ruin by the Portuguese star.

"Ronaldo is an extraordinary champion. Together with Lionel Messi, he is the only one that punctuates his team's most important victories, and is to be compared to [Diego] Maradona and Pele."

 

   
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