Cristiano Ronaldo scored one of the greatest goals in Champions League history as Real Madrid all but booked their place in this season’s semi-finals with a 3-0 thrashing of Juventus in Italy.
The Portuguese ace gave the visitors the lead with his first touch inside three minutes when he tapped home from close range. In the process Ronaldo became the first player to score in 10 consecutive Champions League matches, which started back in last season’s final against Juventus.
Juventus had chances to equalise in a decent first half performance but it was Real Madrid who came the closest to scoring again before the break when Toni Kroos hit the crossbar from 25 yards.
Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon vows to retire at the end of the season if he does not win the Champions League and the 40-year-old had no chance in keeping out Ronaldo’s stunning second. Just after the hour Dani Carvajal put in a cross from which Ronaldo scored a stunning bicycle kick when connecting with the ball more than two metres in the air.
Fans of the Italian Serie A league leaders even stood up to applaud the sheer genius and ability of the Euro 2016 winner.
Shortly after, Paulo Dybala was shown a second yellow card for sticking hiss boot into the chest of Dani Carvajal to put the last six times champions of Italy really up against it.
The tie was effectively over in the final 20 minutes when Real Madrid left-back Marcelo played a one-two with Ronaldo before scoring from close range.
Ronaldo had a couple of chances to complete his hat-trick with the most notable being the final chance of the game when he blazed over from just outside the six-yard box.
Real Madrid host the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu next Wednesday with one foot already in the semi-finals as they look to become the first club to win Europe’s most prestigious club cup competition three times in a row for the first time since Bayern Munich in the 1970s.