Five years ago today, Ronaldo inspired an incredible comeback to lead Real Madrid to the Champions League semi-finals.
When there’s Cristiano Ronaldo, there is always a way.
We’ve seen him go the extra mile and pull off the impossible many times before. From tearing Sweden apart in a World Cup qualifier to saving Juventus against Atletico Madrid, the list grows bigger every year.
Another fine example was five years ago at the Bernabeu when Real Madrid hosted Wolfsburg for the second leg of a quarter-final tie.
On this day in 2016, Real Madrid went into their UCL quarter-final against Wolfsburg down 2-0 from the first leg.
Ronaldo scored a hat trick and they went on to win the trophy 😤
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 12, 2021
After losing the first leg 2-0 in Germany, Zinedine Zidane’s side were on the brink of an early exit. But Ronaldo had other ideas and took only 17 minutes to level the scoreline.
The Portuguese ace scored his first goal from six yards out in the 15th-minute before heading in a second only two minutes later.
CR7 then scored a free-kick in the second half to complete his hat-trick and send Real Madrid to a sixth consecutive Champions League semi-final appearance.
“What can I say about Cristiano Ronaldo,” said Zidane after the match.
“He has showed again he is the best player in the world. He is a special player.”
“I said it would be a magic night”
The hat-trick hero took the match ball at the final whistle and tucked it under his shirt as the supporters gave him and his teammates a standing ovation.
“I said it would be a magic night,” announced Ronaldo.
“I would like to stick with what the rest of the team have done, they played very well, and of course the fans who always support us.
“There are always special games in the Champions League. Today was a more intense game, more vibrant and that meant a perfect night.”
On scoring what was his 37th career hat-trick, Ronaldo said: “So many hat tricks are not bad, is it? Goals are in my DNA.”
Ronaldo later led Real Madrid to the Champions League title in May by beating Manchester City in the semi-finals and Atletico Madrid in the final itself.
He ended the campaign with an incredible 16 goals.
Happy Cristiano Ronaldo day:
3 years ago: Scored a winning penalty to knock Juventus out of the CL
4 years ago: Scored a brace away at Bayern
5 years ago: Scored a hat-trick against Wolfsburg to overturn a 2-0 deficit.
True greatness. 👑 pic.twitter.com/SDVIHfhYUR
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) April 12, 2021
Little did Ronaldo know back then, though, was that it was only just the start. He ended up winning another two Champions League titles and is now regarded as the competition’s greatest player in history.