Juventus forward, Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to play in his home country, Portugal, when facing Porto in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Thursday.
The Old Ladies have never been beaten by the Portuguese side– a loss and four draws. Both teams last met in the UEFA Champions League, a round of 16 in the 2016/2017 campaign.
The Italian club planned to improve on the last UCL shocking exit having lost in the 2018-19 quarters to Ajax and 2019-20 last 16 to Lyon UCL campaign.
Ronaldo has not play club football in his country since 2016 when Real Madrid defeated Sporting CP 2-1 in the Champions League.
“This is what the Champions League is all about: the knockout rounds. It’s almost as if another competition starts from this point on and everybody has to bring their A-game because every detail can make the difference.
“In the last couple of years we went home sooner than we wanted, but we continue to aim higher every season and this year is no exception.
“Tomorrow we have a very important game against a very strong team and I can only hope that it may be the beginning of the long walk we want to take until the final.
“Respect for the opponent, ambition for the victory, and 100% focus on our goals.”He ended.
But, Juve manager, Andrea Pirlo stressed that the Portuguese home reunion will be special, hence an added advantage to the UCL tie with Porto.
“Cristiano Ronaldo is back home in Portugal. He is keen to score even more.” Pirlo said
“He proved in the Coppa Italia and with his history in the Champions League, that he lives on the adrenaline of the knockout stages. He is proud to be back home and wants to show them who Cristiano Ronaldo still is.” He added
The five-time Ballon D’or winner has netted brace Coppa Italia’s semifinal victory over Inter Milan.
The five time UCL winner has bagged seven goals for Juve in the contest knock out stages.
Juve defender Georgio Chiellini has lauded Ronaldo special qualities, stressing that fact the 36-year-old has added value to the Italian side
“Cristiano is special, but I am not the one who discovered that,” Chiellini said.
“He has been added value for us. We have been lucky to train with him to see every day the little secrets helping him become the true champion he is.” he added
“Tomorrow we will play in Portugal, his home, I hope he will have even more motivation to perform well and score.”
Ronaldo will be hoping to help win the European prestigious competition for Juve after a 25-year wait, sightseeing his sixth.