The Spanish media were effusive in their praise for Cristiano Ronaldo as the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star single handedly powered Juventus into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Some would’ve wondered whether the Bianconeri overpaid for a 33 year old, but on the evidence of performances like these, that money looks like pocket change currently. No other player would’ve perhaps been able to do this, less so against Simeone’s Atleti, who are known to be miserly in defence and rarely suffer nights like these. In the eight years that the Argentine has been in charge of Los Colchoneros, they had never previously lost a knockout tie where they had triumphed in the first leg (CL, EL and Copa)
Instead Ronaldo’s hat trick saw Atleti join cross town rivals Real in going out of the competition and kept Italy’s CL hopes alive (Roma had lost to Porto the week before). The Italian media also praised Ronaldo, while in Spain, Marca carried the headline “Cristiano Impone Su Ley” (Cristiano gets his way). AS ran “Cristiano- Rey de la Champions” meaning Cristiano- King of Champions.
Barcelona are the only Spanish team alive in the Champions League now, and they are up against Bruno Genesio’s OL tonight. History favours the Catalans, and the twin exits of Atleti and Real will have the Blaugrana believing that this could be their year in Europe. England, on the other hand, could have four representatives in the quarters if Liverpool get the better of Bayern.