After all the pre-match analysis as the focus of the Barcelona-Juventus UEFA Champions League clash were on Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the Portuguese talisman had the last laugh scoring his first Champions League goals against them.
Despite playing against Barcelona five times before Tuesday’s clash, Ronaldo has not recorded a single goal against the Catalan giants but scored 17 against them before the game in other competitions during his stints with Real Madrid.
The talisman has now broken the jinx not by scoring a goal, but a brace from the penalty spot to secure a 3-0 victory over their hosts – a revenge for the 2-0 loss in Italy during the first leg.
Ronaldo opened his account by sending Marc-Andre ter Stegen the wrong way after being fouled by Uruguay defender Ronald Araujo.
Juve doubled their lead through Weston McKennie’s bicycle kick. Ronaldo then got his brace from the spot after Clement Lenglet handled the ball.
Excited about this achievement that also made them top the group, Ronaldo took to his social media page to laud his teammates.
“Always great to return to Spain and to Catalunya, always hard to play in Camp Nou against one of the best teams I ever faced. Today we were a team of Champions! A true, strong, and united family! Playing like this, we have nothing to fear until the end of the season… Let’s go!,” he wrote.
Always great to return to Spain and to Catalunya, always hard to play in Camp Nou against one of the best teams I ever faced. Today we were a team of Champions! A true, strong and united family! Playing like this, we have nothing to fear until the end of the season… Let’s go! pic.twitter.com/PivPpJ3SLh— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) December 8, 2020
New records set by Ronaldo after scoring first Champions League goals against Barcelona
The brace means that Ronaldo has scored more away goals against Barcelona than he has against any other opponent (14).
The goals also take his Champions League goal tally to 134 as he continues to lead the all-time goalscoring chart. Messi is behind him with 118.
Ronaldo is also the player that handed Barcelona their first defeat in a group game since 2016.
The duo already has nine Champions League titles between them, scoring a combined 252 goals in the competition.
However 35-year-old Ronaldo will need to meet Messi constantly before hanging his boot as he currently trails the world’s best player 16-11 in terms of victories between them.
Ronaldo doesn’t see Messi as a rival
Meanwhile, Ronaldo has said he never see Messi as a rival but a player who always wants the best for his team like him. He added that they have a good relationship, but football brought about the rivalry between them.
“It was Mission Almost Impossible. The key was to start strong, as within 20 minutes we were already 2-0 up, so from that point on we really believed that we could do it.
“This victory is going to be such a confidence-booster, we needed a win like this against a big team,” Ronaldo told Movistar.
Barcelona was unhappy with the first penalty after Ronald Araujo got into a tangle with Ronaldo. The Portuguese decided not to comment on that adding that Juve deserved to be group winners.
“I couldn’t say, as I didn’t see it on television. Sometimes soft penalties are called, but I don’t want to get into that, because the referee’s job is always tough.
“When you score three goals at Camp Nou, there can be no doubt you deserve to go through as the group winners,” he said.
Being the first time Ronaldo will face Messi in Juve shirt, as he was out with COVID-19 during the Turin clash, the spotlight was on both players. But it was Ronaldo’s night.
“We’ve been in the awards ceremonies for 12-13 years now and I never saw him as a rival, that’s all stirred up in the media.
“We always got along perfectly well and if you ask Leo, he’ll tell you the same thing.”