The Pledge:

As the game kicked off, once again, the final of the 2017 UEFA Champions League flashed in everyone’s memories and everyone in Juventus wanted to avenge it. Who wouldn’t? It would have been a great end to that Juventus’ season when Toni Kroos and company kept it well guarded by Cristiano Ronaldo’s two goals in the finale. Not only did he steal the show but also left all Juventus fans heart-broken. Ronaldo won the Man of the Match award in that game for his terrific performance. But that was in 2017, now it’s 2018 and given the league form Juventus is having this season, they are one of the contenders to lift the UEFA Champions League trophy. History is to be made if Juventus wins this year UEFA Champions League. It is the only laurel that left for Buffon to add to his trophy cabinet. However, history repeated itself instead of being written, and in this first clash of the quarterfinals, once again Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals.

The first goal of the game came on the 3rd minute from a brilliant Isco, who was commanding the game for Real Madrid provided Cristiano Ronaldo with a witty assist and from the outside of his right foot, Ronaldo tapped in the ball past Gigi Buffon into the back of the net.

 

The Turn:

If someone now asks me if I believe in magic, I will tell them of this goal scored by a 33-year-old floating 1 meter and 41 centimeters in the air from the ground and struck the ball which was 2 meter and 38 centimeters high from the ground that found the left side of the Juventus’ net. For a moment no one could believe it, neither fans nor the players because it’s a very rare sight and impossible to reach that much height in the air. Perhaps, it was impossible so Cristiano did it. On the 64th minute, he scores his second goal and also for his team in the Juventus Stadium with an over the head volley. The whole stadium paused for a moment. Madristas everywhere were just as shocked as everyone else who saw the game. Then the claps rolled in. Ronaldo didn’t do his trademark celebration, instead just went to the left corner and stood there where the Real Madrid fans were sitting. Not only Madrid fans but all the Juve fans were now standing and admiring the excellence of a man, who has been written off by critics and haters as ‘finished.’ The entire stadium gave him a standing ovation for half a minute. Ronaldo folds his hands and thanked everyone for the respect shown to him for the first time in his career. That’s just moments after booing him for secretly chasing down the ball behind Juventus’ defenders trying to set up the second goal for Real Madrid. This is Cristiano Ronaldo for you. You may love him or you may not but you will definitely respect him even if it’s for just one moment.

 

Ronaldo

Source – Getty Image

 

The Prestige:

8 minutes later to the breathtaking finish by Cristiano that shifted the gears of the game, instead of going for his 45th Real Madrid hattrick, he gave a quick one-touch through ball to Marcelo which, the Brazilian left defender cum winger got past Buffon with a slight touch and followed it down to the empty goal with his knee.

Two more goals would have been pinned to Real Madrid’s name but the shots came back from the crossbar catching Buffon by complete surprise but couldn’t do anything if it had hit the back of the net. Two stunning shots by two talented midfielders, Toni Kroos and Mateo Kovacic, hit the crossbar; which would have been wonder goals but got rebounded with, leaving all the glory for Cristiano only.

The analysis:

Despite a win in here, Zinedine Zidane would have to test his reserve bench defenders because Sergio Ramos misses next Champions League game which would be the home leg of this fixture for the Galacticos and without the captain, the Real Madrid defense could fall off like a sand castle. However, it would be balanced by the absence of Paulo Dybala, who is often compared to Lionel Messi picked up his red card for anticipating in an aerial pass without noticing that his spikes are directly horizontal when Dani Carvajal, also trying to win the aerial ball but got caught in Dybala’s spikes. It was unfortunate for Juventus but the referee’s decision was legit.

After the match was over in the press conference,”I am heartbroken, but it seems I will never win the Champions League. With opposition teams having players like Cristiano Ronaldo, us mere mortals have no chance,” said Gianluigi Buffon on Ronaldo’s strike.

 

The scoreboard:

Scoreline ended with Real Madrid – 3, Juventus – 0. (Cristiano Ronaldo – 3”, 64”, Marcelo – 72”)