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King Cristiano: The INCREDIBLE stats behind Ronaldo’s Champions League dominance

King Cristiano: The INCREDIBLE stats behind Ronaldo’s Champions League dominance
Cometh the UEFA Champions League knockout stages, cometh Cristiano Ronaldo. The Juventus star’s hat-trick to send his team past Atletico Madrid and into the quarter-finals was just the latest in an incredible set of performances.

Ronaldo cost Juve $117 million in the summer, and is now 34 years old. But last night’s heroics in overturning a 2-0 first-leg deficit showed that Juve’s investment is increasingly looking like money well-spent.

Also on rt.com Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat-trick as Juventus stage stunning UCL comeback win over Atletico Madrid

RT Sport breaks down the numbers behind Ronaldo’s phenomenal record in Europe’s top club competition, and in the knockout stages that he has made his own for more than a decade.

124 – Ronaldo has netted a record 124 goals in the Champions League, 18 more than great rival Lionel Messi. Ronaldo’s total has come in 160 games, and is even more incredible considering it took him 30 games in the tournament to register his first strike.

8 – Ronaldo’s treble against Atletico was his eighth hat-trick in the Champions League, moving him level with Messi in one of the rare areas where he was lagging behind the Argentine.

63 – Ronaldo has scored 63 goals in the Champions League knockout stages, way ahead of Messi in second place on 40 strikes. When the going gets tough, Cristiano gets going.

77 – The Portuguese number 7 has been involved in 77 goals in 77 Champions League knockout appearances (63 goals and 14 assists).

25 – Ronaldo was Atletico’s tormentor-in-chief during his time at Real Madrid, and continued in the same vein last night. He has 25 goals in 33 games against Atleti, including four hat-tricks. His total of 124 Champions League goals is higher than Atleti's entire total in the history of the competition (118).

22 – Ronaldo’s headed double on Tuesday night took his tally to 22 headers scored in the Champions League, more than any other player.

11 – Ronaldo has reached at least the Champions League semi-finals in 11 of the past 12 seasons. He has already gone further than former club Real Madrid this time round after they crashed out against Ajax last week.    

5 – Ronaldo has won five Champions League titles, four with Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) and one with Manchester United (2008). He is joint second on the all-time European Cup/Champions League winners list, behind only  Paco Gento, the legendary Real Madrid winger who won six titles in the ‘50s and ‘60s.  

5 – Juventus have won European club football’s top prize twice (in 1985 and 1996), but have incredibly lost five finals since they last won the title. Ronaldo was their tormentor the last time they reached the final, scoring twice as Real Madrid beat them 4-1 in Cardiff. The Old Lady are used to being the bridesmaid, but never the bride.

'That's why they brought me here' 

That last stat is why Juve paid out for Ronaldo.

The Turin giants have won seven consecutive Serie A titles, and are 18 points clear this season. But what they crave is glory on the biggest stage in Europe.

Ronaldo said as much after Tuesday’s game: “This was why Juventus brought me here, to help do things that they have never done before. This is the mentality you need to win in the Champions League.”

Juventus need that mentality, and no one has it more than Cristiano Ronaldo, the Champions League’s KO king.  

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