Cristiano Ronaldo has boldly declared “that’s why Juventus signed me” after scoring a stunning hat-trick to fire the Bianconeri past Atletico Madrid and into the Champions League quarter-finals.
The Serie A title holders had a European mountain to climb heading into the second leg of a last-16 showdown with La Liga opponents.
Trailing 2-0 from a disappointing showing on Spanish soil, the Italians were looking for a flash of brilliance from somewhere and found it in the form of their Portuguese superstar.
Ronaldo was to deliver the eighth Champions League treble of his remarkable career when such a contribution was needed most.
He had been snapped up from Juve in the summer of 2018 to produce performances such as that he managed against Atletico, with the 34-year-old a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and European champion.
After keeping his current club on course to help him add to that enviable haul of honours, Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia: “It had to be a really special night and it was.
“If we continue like this, we have not won yet but we have reasons to be proud and we are on the right way.
“That’s why Juve signed me and I tried to do my best job.
“It’s a magical night. It was a very difficult team to play but we showed that we were a very big team. We proceed step by step, we will see.”
Juventus are now into the last eight and can look forward to the quarter-final draw on Friday.
It could be that Ronaldo is handed another emotional reunion with familiar faces at that stage.
He has been a regular thorn in Atletico’s side down the years and enhanced that record with his spectacular showing at the Allianz Stadium on Tuesday.
Among those that could potentially cross his path again over the coming weeks are Manchester United.
Juve have already faced the Red Devils in the group stage of this season’s Champions League, claiming a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford before falling 2-1 in the reverse fixture.
Ronaldo found the target in the second of those games, but will be seeking revenge over his former club if they are forced to lock swords again.