Cristiano Ronaldo once again proved that he is one of the game’s all time greats after steering Juventus to a remarkable Champions League comeback against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old former Real Madrid blue eyed boy grabbed a hat-trick, his career 52nd, to help the Italians overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit to progress to semifinals.
The Portuguese legend pounded in identical headers either side of half-time before using his nerves of steel to convert a last gasp penalty.
His former teammate at Manchester United Rio Ferdinand declared him “a living football god” following the magical night in Turin.
“He’s a living football god,” Ferdinand said on BT Sports. “It is ridiculous what he is doing.
It is the Champions League and he has every record you can imagine. He is joint top scorer and hat-trick man with Messi.
His first goal is like Duncan Ferguson in his prime. He attacks the ball and leaves the centre back in a heap and then says ‘this is me’. That is what you call desire,” the ex-English defender added.
Ronaldo was humble about his performance.
He said: “It had to be a special night and it was, not just for the goals, but for the team and their incredible attitude.
“This is the mentality you need in the Champions League and we are on the right track.”
Asked about Juve not being able to complete such a memorable comeback in previous years, Ronaldo responded: “This is why Juve brought me in, to help on magic nights like this.”