Cristiano Ronaldo ‘repeatedly told family and friends he would score hat-trick against Atletico Madrid’… before doing just that to send Juventus into Champions League quarter-finals
If it’s one thing Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t lack on the football pitch, it’s confidence.
The striker netted three times against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday to secure an emphatic comeback win for Juventus and send his side through to the Champions League quarter-finals.
That, in itself, is a remarkable feat. But what makes it even more astonishing is that he predicted he would do as much in the days leading up to the second-leg clash.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick to help Juventus produce an incredible win over Atletico
His three goals single-handedly pulled Juve through the tie to reach the quarter-finals
According to Spanish outlet Marca, ahead of the game Ronaldo repeatedly told his close family and friends that Juventus would progress and he would score a hat-trick.
The Portuguese will have taken a huge amount of confidence in the fact he had taken the match ball home with him on two previous occasions against Atletico.
He hit three past Jan Oblak in the final La Liga match to take place at Vicente Calderon in 2017 before achieving the feat once more in the Champions League semi-final at the Bernabeu later that same season.
Juventus knew they had to pull the rabbit out of the hat to overturn Atletico’s two-goal advantage heading into the second leg.
The Juve superstar reportedly predicted that he would score a treble and knock Atletico out
But Ronaldo, as was so often the case when he wore the Manchester United and Real Madrid jerseys, proved the difference and, as he had done twice before, notched three goals against Atletico to single-handedly take his team through to the last eight.
Following the match, £99million man Ronaldo claimed he had proved his worth after a ‘magical’ evening in Turin.
‘It had to be a special night and it was,’ he told Sky Sport Italy. ‘Not just for goals, but for the team.
‘This is the Champions League mentality. We haven’t won anything yet, but we have made it a nice journey.
‘Maybe that’s why Juve signed me, to help them. It was a magical evening. Atletico is a very complicated opponent but we have proven to deserve the next round. The final? It’s early, let’s think step by step.’
He previously scored two hat-tricks against them, including in Champions League semi in 2017