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Watch out Europe, 'Mr. Champions League' Ronaldo is coming for his crown

Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Feature
1.91K   //    16 Sep 2018, 22:47 IST

Juventus v US Sassuolo - Serie A
Ronaldo got his first goal for Juventus against US Sassuolo in Serie A

After enduring a difficult start to life in Serie A following his blockbuster transfer from Real Madrid in the summer, critics had begun to question the decision by Juventus to splash out such a huge amount of money on Cristiano Ronaldo, as many believed he was already past his prime after nine immense seasons in the Spanish capital.

Despite going his first three official matches without a goal, and making news headlines, Ronaldo never doubted himself, and neither did his manager or Juventus fans. It was only a matter of when and not if he would score his first goal, with Saturday's clash against Sassuolo offering the perfect opportunity to break his Serie A duck.

As it happened, Cristiano did not fail to deliver, as he got his first official goal in a Juventus shirt when he opened the scoring in the 50th minute with some help from the Sassuolo defender, before getting a brace 15 minutes later to make him only the 5th player in history to score 400 club league goals.

The win made it a perfect record of four in four for the Bianconerri, and the Old Lady are sitting pretty comfortably at the summit of the Serie A table, holding a three point lead over Napoli in second.

Given that Juventus have won each of the last seven editions of the Scudetto consecutively, their dominance over the Italian league is so obvious that they wouldn't need Ronaldo's presence to win it once again.

However, on the continent, it is an entirely different matter, as Juve haven't triumphed in the Champions League since 1997, losing four finals in that time, including to a Ronaldo inspired Real Madrid in 2017, where the Portuguese record goalscorer scored a brace in an eventual 4-1 defeat for the Italians.

Even though Ronaldo has performed exceptionally well in league competitions over the years, (his 400 career league goals and four European Golden Boots are testament of that), it is in Europe where he has really stepped up his extra-terrestrial performances, remarkably finishing as top scorer in each of the last six consecutive editions of the UCL, and guiding Real Madrid to glory in each of the last three Champions League tournaments.

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final
Ronaldo has won the UEFA Champions League on five occasions

He is also the record goalscorer in the competition, with his 120 goals scored putting him significantly ahead of any other player, and indeed, those numbers are higher than a vast majority of clubs have scored in their Champions League history.

He is also the holder of a number of other Champions League, including being the only player to have scored 15 goals in a single Champions League season (which he has done on 3 occasions), and holding the record for most number of consecutive games scored in (eleven).

Juventus knows about Ronaldo's capabilities all too well, as the ten goals he has scored against them (including a wonderful overhead kick in April which was voted the goal of the season and earned him a standing ovation from the Juventus fans) is the most he has scored against a single opponent in the competition's history.

It is for his Champions League performances which he was signed, as Juventus are desperate to end their 21 year wait for European glory, and having gotten off the mark in Juve's colors, there would be no looking back for Ronaldo now, as he embarks on doing what he does best: scoring goals and breaking records.

With Champions League football resuming this week, Ronaldo would have his eyes on his next target, which would be to inspire the Bianconerri to the Champions League podium next May, and as Sassuolo found out, the rest of Europe would do well to watch out for 'Mr Champions League'.

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Elvis Ume O
ANALYST
Elvis is an avid football fan, who has followed the sport dedicatedly for over 15 years. His passion lies with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, while his all-time favorite player is Raul Gonzalez. He watches all football matches, but has a bias for international football. He understands that the end justifies the means in football, and results are all that matters, but prefers the results being gotten in an aesthetic manner. His writing reflects the way he lives his life, open-ended, with room for differing opinions. Other pastimes include reading and exploring the world. If you have a passion for the game like he does, connect with him across all platforms and share views.
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