'A living football god': Reaction as Ronaldo takes center stage with Champions League hat-trick
Social media was awash with gushing praise for the Portuguese star's performance in Juventus' 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid which meant the Italians overturned a first-leg deficit to clinch the tie 3-2 on aggregate.Also on rt.com Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat-trick as Juventus stage stunning UCL comeback win over Atletico Madrid
As a result of his stunning performance against Atletico, Ronaldo's stats sheet is quite astonishing.
Cristiano Ronaldo records & stats just tonight!1️⃣ FIRST ever player to score 125 UEFA club competition goals2️⃣ Has been involved in 77 UCL knockout goals in 77 games3️⃣ Scored 25 goals in 33 career appearances vs Atletico4️⃣ Joint-most UCL hat-tricks, with Lionel Messi (8)🤯 pic.twitter.com/XxQaFr00MA— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 12, 2019
And his in-game stats are pretty impressive, too, including the most important stat of all: three shots on target, three goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo's game by numbers vs. Atletico Madrid:86% passing accuracy67 touches7 touches in opp. box5 take-ons won5 shots3 fouls won3 shots on target3 goals1 hat-trick Define match-winning. 😏 pic.twitter.com/OwPUOXUF8Y— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 12, 2019
Some fans shared their opinion on Ronaldo's status by tweeting a distinctive heat map to suggest the Juve star is football's GOAT.
With Atletico 2-0 up after the first leg, some fans were ready to take to Twitter in amusement at Ronaldo's Champions League exit, but his hat-trick put paid to those ideas, as one tweeter illustrated...
Me looking at barca fans deleting their drafts to troll Ronaldo... pic.twitter.com/gwlQy9hNRx— El_capitan😗😗 (@oxlade_kola) March 12, 2019
Ronaldo, a former Real Madrid player, has a long history of rivalry with Atletico, having scored multiple hat-tricks against the side during his days at the Bernabeu.
His former Manchester United teammate Rio Ferdinand, now a pundit on BT Sport, simply hailed him as a "living football god."
"He's a living football God!""He's the best header of the ball I've ever seen."The Champions League is Cristiano Ronaldo's playground 🙌 pic.twitter.com/kr1zgKu3hz— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 12, 2019
Indeed, the Juve star is the only man to bag a hat-trick against Diego Simeone's Atletico side - and he's done it more than once, too.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to score a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid while they've been managed by Diego Simeone.He's managed this achievement FOUR times.Loves playing against them.pic.twitter.com/nnWaTVALg2— BT Sport (@btsport) March 12, 2019
And the last word, appropriately, should go to the man whose goals turned the tie so dramatically in the Turin side's favor.
Italian journalist Gabriele Marcotti shared the exchange between Sky Italia pundits and Ronaldo after the game and received a typically un-modest reply from the ultra-confident Portuguese.
Ronaldo on Sky Italia is told that Juve never managed a comeback this great in the CL...“Maybe that’s why they signed me” is his reply— Gabriele Marcotti (@Marcotti) March 12, 2019
"Maybe that's why they signed me..."