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Ronaldo scores wonder-goal as Madrid sweep past Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo bagged a brace on Wednesday night to steer his team into a strong position in their Uefa Champions League quarter-final tie against Juventus. Poacher then turned provider 18 minutes from time as he set up Marcelo to score Real Madrid's final goal in the 3-0 rout.
With his first strike after three minutes, 32-year-old Ronaldo became the first player to score in 10 consecutive Champions League games.
His second goal - an overhead bicycle kick - from just inside the penalty area drew the plaudits.
"One of the most beautiful goals in the history of football," said Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane of the strike, which had the Juventus fans standing to acclaim the athleticism and technique.
The Portugal skipper responded by putting his hand to his heart and giving a slight bow of gratitude to the crowd.
"The applause for Cristiano says it all," said Madrid midfielder Dani Carvajal whose cross set up Ronaldo's pyrotechnics.
"Cristiano does things sometimes that only he can do," added Zidane. "It's maybe not as beautiful as mine in Glasgow," he joked in reference to his winning goal against Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 Champions League final.
"I'm the coach," added Zidane. "But I'm also a football fan. That's why Ronaldo is different from others because he can do that kind of thing. I'm happy for him and happy to have him on our team."
Goals galore in 2018
Ronaldo has been on a winning streak, clocking up 19 goals in his last nine games for Real and has netted 28 in 2018.
He has scored 16 goals in his past 10 Champions League games - 14 goals this season and a double in last year's final against Juventus. He also holds the record for Champions League goals scored with 119.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri praised the striker's ability to change his style of play in his 30s to compensate for losing some his fabled searing pace.
"I don't know if Ronaldo's goal is the best in football history," said Allegri. "But it's really an extraordinary goal. You can only congratulate him on what he's doing at present.
"The applause is a beautiful lesson from the Juventus fans to the whole world. Football is a show. When you have 22 high-level players and you see a shot like this one it's good to applaud."
The five-time world footballer of the year has now scored in his last six matches against veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
"We saw what Ronaldo is and always has been - a player of an extraordinary level who along with Leo Messi is achieving the greatest heights," said Buffon.
"This means they can be compared to Diego Maradona and Pele for the way they ultimately are able to decide matches and trophies won by their teams."
"When you play against one of the best players in the world, like Cristiano Ronaldo, you need perfection. If you leave space he punishes you and then he invented a goal that will remain in history. It's a pity that he did it to us," lamented Juve defender Andrea Barzagli.