CRISTIANO RONALDO is making room for at least one more.
Whatever his motivations, the five-time Champions League winner is closing in on Paco Gento’s record.
AP:Associated Press6 Cristiano Ronaldo dragged Juventus into the Champions League last-eight with a brilliant hat-trick
Long before Galactico culture took hold, Gento lifted the European Cup six times — between 1956 and 1966.
Ronnie, after dragging Juventus into the quarter-finals, is within sight of the legendary left-winger’s haul.
Judging by his jaw-dropping hat-trick against Atletico Madrid, complete with a send-up of Diego Simeone’s “cojones” celebration from the first leg, the Juve forward is in the mood to make history.
“Maybe that’s why they signed me,” Ronaldo explained after another breathless performance in Juve colours.
Reuters6 Cristiano Ronaldo absolutely lives for the Champions League
When the quarter-final draw is made at 11am today, English football is entitled to be afraid.
Tottenham, for one, will be desperate to avoid him as Ronaldo’s record against them is exceptional.
He has scored ten times against Spurs in his career, with four coming in the Champions League.
His former club Manchester United (three goals), along with Liverpool (three) and Manchester City (five) have also suffered down the years. Nobody is safe.
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He scored a peachy volley beyond David De Gea during Juve’s improbable 2-1 defeat in Turin against United in the group phase last November.
When he was wearing the shirt of Real in 2014, he equalised against United with a towering header in the Bernabeu before scoring the second-leg winner at Old Trafford.
Although Liverpool kept him quiet in last season’s Champions League final, he opened the scoring in a 3-0 win at Anfield in 2014.
Even if the English clubs avoid him today, there is no respite for the remainder of European football’s elite.
Ronaldo has scored 18 times against Barcelona, seven against Ajax, once against Porto. This guy just lives for the Champions League.
It is one of the reasons Juve, who have not had their hands on the European Cup since beating Ajax on penalties in Rome back in 1996, signed him.