The Portuguese missed a couple of games earlier in the season when he tested positive for COVID-19 and Juventus suffered as a result. However, his return seems to have given the side a much-needed boost.
On Saturday, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner put up a fine solo performance as his double earned Andrea Pirlo’s side a hard-fought 2-0 win against Cagliari.
Cristiano Ronaldo netted his first goal in the 38th minutes with an exquisite finish before doubling Juventus’ lead four minutes later. Although he couldn’t complete his hat-trick, this was one of his best performances of the season.
At the end of the match, Pirlo could not hide his admiration for the former Real Madrid and Manchester United winger. In a week that has been dominated by talk of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Turin, he reminded everyone that he’s still a world-class athlete.
His return means Juventus, who were earlier lagging behind their rivals after dropping points in vital fixtures, are immediately back in the Serie A title race.
The Old Lady hasn’t lost a game since he returned after recovering from COVID-19 and Cristiano Ronaldo has already scored five goals in his last four games for Juventus.
Ronaldo netted a brace in the first game after his return against Spezia. He followed it up with another goal in the 1-1 draw against Lazio before striking twice during Saturday’s Serie A game against Cagliari.
"He is a great professional, as we already knew," Pirlo said of Cristiano Ronaldo in an interview with DAZN, as quoted by Goal.
"He is a real champion and sets the example for everyone around him, both in the matches and in training. The only advice I can give him is to keep going in the same way."
Juventus have now moved to fourth position on the Serie A table, leaving Pirlo’s side just four points behind league leaders AC Milan. With Cristiano Ronaldo in such form, it probably won’t be long before Juventus eventually catch up with their rivals. For now, though, they are back in contention after a poor start to the season.