Cristiano Ronaldo had an unforgettable night yesterday, as he proved yet again as to why he is clearly one of the best in the game, ever. His hattrick helped Juventus qualify for the next stage in this season’s Champions League.
The Bianconeris lost the first-leg of the round-of-16 against Atletico Madrid in Ferbruary, by a score of 2-0. It meant that Juventus had to win yesterday’s second-leg fixture by a minimum of three goals, while also taking care not to concede away goals. Ronaldo then duly scored once in the first half and twice again in the second half, carrying his team through to the quarters.
With this hattrick, he also equalled Lionel Messi’s record of eight Champions League hattricks, as per stats from Opta Sports Football:
8 – Cristiano Ronaldo has scored eight Champions League hat-tricks, the joint-most in the competition alongside Lionel Messi. Titans. pic.twitter.com/q2b0equOYb
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 12, 2019
Messi and Ronaldo are the only two players to score eight hattricks in the competition that was born in 1992. The former’s hattricks were against Arsenal (2009-’10), Victoria Plzen, Bayer Leverkusen (2011-’12), AFC Ajax (2013-’14), APOEL (2014-’15), Celtic, Manchester City (both 2016-’17) and PSV Eindhoven (2018-’19).
Cristiano Ronaldo’s first hattrick was against AFC Ajax in 2012-’13, after which he scored more of them against Galatasaray (2013-’14), Shakhtar Donetsk, Malmo FF, VfL Wolfsburg (all three in 2015-’16), Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid (both in 2016-’17) and yesterday against Atletico once again.
Mario Gomez, Filippo Insaghi and Luiz Adriano (3 each) are the players to have scored most Champions League hattricks after Ronaldo and Messi.