If actions speak louder than words, then the bewildered gesture from veteran Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli adequately describes Cristiano Ronaldo’s utter brilliance as he scored his second goal last night for Real Madrid in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.
— Henry Bushnell (@HenryBushnell) April 3, 2018
Real Madrid’s manager, Zinedine Zidane, had little to say as well other than his compulsory wrist flick.
Zidane’s reaction to Ronaldo’s bicycle kick is your reaction too. pic.twitter.com/xzqNmVG3vN
— Faizal Khamisa (@SNFaizalKhamisa) April 3, 2018
While it was certainly the flashiest point of the night, the 33-year-old Portuguese forward’s contribution to Madrid’s other two goals deserves equal merit. Ronaldo slotted himself in the Champions League record books once again as he officially scored in 10 consecutive games with his penultimate goal in the second minute. Eight minutes after his sensational overhead kick, Ronaldo assisted left-back Marcelo for Madrid’s last goal, which likely guarantees the reigning champion’s advancement to their eighth consecutive semifinals.
To mention a few of his many Champions League records, Ronaldo holds the all-time record for most goals scored with 119, most assists with 40 and the most goals scored in a single season with 17. Not a record, but if Cristiano Ronaldo was a club himself, he’d be the tenth most prolific in history.
If Cristiano Ronaldo was a club, he would be 10th on the all-time scoring list. pic.twitter.com/cFcfYAk7zM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 3, 2018
Statistics aside, this performance just underlines the claims that Ronaldo is the greatest Champions League player in history, the greatest player in the world at the moment and the greatest player of all time. Statistics considered, his already immensely successful season of 39 goals in 36 games for Madrid disproves any assertions that he’s “past his prime” at an age where most players see a significant decline in output. Clearly, Ronaldo is unlike most players. He’s not human for that matter; he’s a goalscoring monster.
Real Madrid will play Juventus again for the second leg of the quarter-final knockout stage at home next Wednesday.